, Volume 156, Issue 8, pp 1565-1566
Date: 09 May 2014

Cognitive deficits in patients with trigeminal neuralgia: opportunities to improve care and quality of life

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Cognitive impairments can often be found in patients with chronic pain disorders, in particular when attentional capacity, processing speed, or psychomotor speed are measured [13]. These impairments have been shown to affect therapy adherence, personal relationships, daily functioning, capacity for work, leisure activities, mood, and quality of life [4, 5]. Surprisingly, no prior studies have investigated cognitive functioning in patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN). In particular, the subset of patients that are candidates for microvascular decompression (MVD) seem at high risk for cognitive impairments, because of severe, long-standing and medically intractable pain.

In this study we examined whether patients with TN that were candidates for MVD showed cognitive deficits. Cognitive function was assessed in 32 patients 1 day prior to surgery, and compared with two control groups of healthy subjects: a normative American control group (n = 1,069), and a Dutch control group (n = 20). ...