Cognitive outcome in adults with moderate disability after pneumococcal meningitis

J Infect. 2006 Jun;52(6):433-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2005.08.014. Epub 2005 Oct 10.


Objectives: To assess cognitive outcome and quality of life in patients with moderate disability after bacterial meningitis as compared to patients with good recovery.

Methods: Neuropsychological evaluation was performed in 40 adults after pneumococcal meningitis; 20 patients with moderate disability at discharge on the glasgow outcome scale (GOS score 4) and 20 with good recovery (GOS score 5).

Results: Patients with GOS score 4 had similar test results as compared to patients with GOS score 5 for the neuropsychological domains 'intelligence', 'memory' and 'attention and executive functioning'. Patients with GOS score 4 showed less cognitive slowness than patients with GOS score 5. In a linear regression analysis cognitive speed was related to current intelligence, years of education and time since meningitis. Overall performance on the speed composite score correlated significantly with time since meningitis (-0.62; P<0.001). Therefore, difference between both groups may have been related to a longer time between meningitis and testing for GOS four patients (29 vs. 12 months; P<0.001).

Conclusions: Patients with moderate disability after bacterial meningitis are not at higher risk for neuropsychological abnormalities than patients with good recovery. In addition, cognitive slowness after bacterial meningitis may be reversible in time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / microbiology
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glasgow Outcome Scale
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Pneumococcal / complications*
  • Meningitis, Pneumococcal / microbiology
  • Meningitis, Pneumococcal / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Quality of Life