Cognitive Assessment in Primary Biliary Cirrhosis: A Case--Control Study

Floreani, Annarosa; Marchiori, Milvia; Bonato, Stefano; Zucchetto, Marco; Naccarato, Remo; Chiaramonte, Maria
February 1995
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Feb1995, Vol. 90 Issue 2, p250
Academic Journal
Objectives: Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) patients frequently complain of fatigue and loss of memory. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mental performance and the neuropsychological assessment in patients with PBC. Methods: A case-control study was performed that included 36 PBC patients (34 female, two male, mean age 55 yrs, 11 with stage II, 16 with stage III, and nine with stage IV disease) and 36 sex and age-matched controls with rheumatoid arthritis. A preliminary routine neurological examination failed to show any abnormality in each patient, including signs of encephalopathy. A battery of neuropsychological tests was administered to each subject, including: the Global Deterioration Scale; the Mini Mental State Examination; Buschke test; Gatterer's test; the Wechsler Memory Scale; the Blessed-Roth memory test; and the Clifton Assessment Schedule. Results: The overall score for each test was not statistically different in PBC patients compared with rheumatoid arthritis patients, except for the Global Deterioration Scale and the Clifton Assessment Schedule; the performance was significantly poorer for these measures in PBC patients compared with rheumatoid arthritis patients. In both groups no correlation was found between the score of each test and age and/or duration of the disease. However, in the PBC group the score of BR was negatively correlated with the histological stage (p < 0.0025). Conclusion: The global mental status is not altered in PBC, but early changes in orientation and in personal memory are present in cirrhotic stage.


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