Neurocognitive impairment screening in Romanian HCV infected patients
© Cercel et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013
Published: 16 December 2013
Neurocognitive impairment can occur in HCV infected patients. A series of studies have shown that patients with HCV may experience diminished attention and concentration, or suffer from severe cognitive deficits, such as disorientation and fluctuating consciousness. We performed a study to determine if there are neurocognitive differences or dissimilarities in the quality of life between a control group and a group of HCV infected patients.
We assessed patients by applying the EQ-5D-5L questionnaire and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. EQ-5D-3L comprises the following 5 dimensions: mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression. Montreal Cognitive Assessment indicates if patients have neurocognitive impairment. All subjects were evaluated with these questionnaires during an appointment with the clinical psychologist.
We assessed 11 HCV infected patients and 11 controls. The HCV group had ages between 25-58 with a median of 40±12 (2 retired, 1 doctor, 1 economist, 2 engineers, 1 architect, 1 editor, 1 clerk, 1 financial analyst) and the control group had ages between 26-38, median 30±4 (7 doctors, 3 nurses and 1 secretary). EQ-5D-5L scores were 85±10 percent (min: 65, max: 95) in the HCV group and 95±7 percent (min: 85, max: 100) in the control group. The median MOCA scores were 28±4 (min: 19, max: 31) in the HCV group and 30±3 (min: 22, max: 31) in the control group.
At a first look, we identified apparent neurocognitive differences between the two groups but the number of subjects was too low to offer a statistical significance. We intend to evaluate larger groups of patients, and reapply the tests periodically to determine if there are longitudinal changes in the neurocognitive status.
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