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A missing piece? Neuropsychiatric functioning in untreated patients with tumors within the cerebellopontine angle

  • Simone Goebel
  • Hubertus Maximilian Mehdorn
Clinical Study

Abstract

Purpose

To date, little is known about neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with tumors within the cerebellopontine angle (CPA). These, however, might be of clinical relevance. Aim of this study was thus to assess possible impairment in cognition, elevation in mood symptoms, and fatigue in this specific patient group.

Methods

Forty-five patients with an untreated CPA tumor (27 vestibularis schwannoma, 18 meningioma) were tested within a cross-sectional observational study in a single institution prior to neurosurgical treatment. Patients were administered a multifaceted battery comprising of widely-used tests for assessment of neuropsychiatric functioning.

Results

The majority of the included patients (69%) showed neurocognitive impairment, most frequently in the areas of attention and visuo-motor speed (e.g., alertness) (62%) as well as visuo-construction (44%). Impaired structural integrity of the brain stem was accompanied by more serious neurocognitive deficits. About one-third of the sample reported clinically relevant depression and/or anxiety and an even higher proportion (48%) described high levels of fatigue. Cognitive and affective symptoms as well as fatigue contributed significantly to patients’ Quality of Life, indicating the clinical relevance of neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with CPA tumors.

Conclusions

Although patients with untreated CPA tumors often suffer from devastating and prominent physical symptoms, neuropsychiatric problems are also frequent. Including these aspects in the routine clinical assessment and initiating treatment accordingly might thus improve clinical management of the patients and improve Quality of Life.

Keywords

Tumor Cerebellopontine angle Neuropsychology Cognition Affect HRQoL 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Maren Hinck for valuable support during manuscript preparation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute of PsychologyChristian-Albrechts UniversityKielGermany
  2. 2.Mehdorn ConsiliumKielGermany

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