Cognitive function in the acute course of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for hematological malignancies.

Bone marrow transplantation

PubMedID: 17417661

Schulz-Kindermann F, Mehnert A, Scherwath A, Schirmer L, Schleimer B, Zander AR, Koch U. Cognitive function in the acute course of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for hematological malignancies. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2007;39(12):789-99.
The aim of the study was to assess cognitive performance in patients with hematological malignancies before, and 3 months after, allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). A consecutive sample of 39 patients was assessed before admission with a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery and health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) questionnaires; 19 of these patients were retested around 100 days post HSCT. Test results were compared with normative data and revealed minimal differences at both time points in the level of group-means. One parameter - simple reaction time - was significantly worse (prolonged) at second measurement after HSCT. According to the definition of an impairment score (more than three impaired functions), 26% of patients were classified as impaired before as well as after HSCT. Neuropsychological test results did not vary systematically according to medical variables such as extent of pretreatment, graft-versus-host-disease (GvHD) and kind of conditioning protocol. As a dimension of HRQoL, self-rated cognitive function was in the normal range before and after HSCT. Significant correlations between HRQoL and neuropsychological parameters were related to symptom scales. This study showed impairments of neuropsychological performance for a subgroup of patients before and after allogeneic HSCT. Systematic effects of conditioning, medical variables or self-rated HRQoL could not be observed.