Long-term memory deficits in patients with malignant gliomas

J Neurooncol. 1995;25(3):227-38. doi: 10.1007/BF01053156.


Knowledge about the neuropsychological performance of adult patients with brain tumors, and especially with malignant gliomas, is limited. In this study 30 patients were consecutively included at time of diagnosis. Five months after completion of radiotherapy eleven of the patients showed no signs of focal neurology or tumor recurrence. These eleven patients, and their partners, were interviewed independently. Using each partner as control the patients were assessed neuropsychologically with special emphasis on memory abilities. The selective reminding technique was used with nouns of different visual imagery. A consistent pattern was found: there was no clear impairment in global intellectual abilities, but there was a pronounced deficit in long-term memory. However, the patients had a preserved capacity to use visual imagery to boost performance. It is important that medical staff acknowledge or confirm this problem. The sparing of imaginal coding makes it possible for the staff to assist with advice facilitating memory. Memory is a vital cognitive ability and the selective reminding technique was a sensitive method capable of detecting subtle impairments. The technique is recommended in future examinations of conditions and evaluations of treatments affecting the CNS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Astrocytoma / complications*
  • Brain Neoplasms / complications*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / diagnosis
  • Memory Disorders / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests