Cognitive impairment in adults with good recovery after bacterial meningitis

J Infect Dis. 2002 Oct 1;186(7):1047-52. doi: 10.1086/344229. Epub 2002 Sep 13.


Adults without neurologic sequelae after bacterial meningitis are supposed to live without restrictions. Neuropsychological outcome was assessed in 51 adults from a prospective cohort with good recovery, defined as Glasgow Outcome Scale score 5, after pneumococcal or meningococcal meningitis. Patients who recovered well after pneumococcal meningitis showed cognitive slowness (P=.001). A cognitive disorder was found in 27% of these patients. Patients who previously had meningococcal meningitis were not significantly different from control subjects. Scores on general health and quality of life questionnaires revealed lower scores for patients with meningitis, which were related to cognitive slowing (R, -0.46 to -0.38). In conclusion, adults surviving pneumococcal meningitis were at significant risk of neuropsychological abnormalities, even if they were clinically well recovered.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Glasgow Outcome Scale
  • Humans
  • Meningitis, Bacterial / complications*
  • Meningitis, Bacterial / rehabilitation
  • Middle Aged
  • Neisseria meningitidis*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae*