Impaired neuropsychological functioning in patients with hypopituitarism

TNA Slagboom*, Jan Berend Deijen, CC van Bunderen, JA Knoop, ML Drent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Treatment of pituitary pathology mostly does not result in complete recovery of impairment in cognitive functioning. The primary aim of the current study was to assess cognitive impairment in patients with stable replacement therapy for hypopituitarism during the last 6 months prior to inclusion. It was expected that patients showed subjective and objective subnormal scores on neuropsychological functioning.

Forty-two patients (40% men, 49 ± 15 years) treated for hypopituitarism conducted a neuropsychological test battery, including the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ), 15-Word test (15-WT), Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) Motor Screening Task (MOT), Spatial Working Memory (SWM) and Affective Go/No-go (AGN). Results were compared to reference values of healthy norm groups.

Male and female participants scored significantly worse on the CFQ (P < .01, d = 0.91-4.09) and AGN mean correct latency (P < .01, d = 1.66 and 1.29, respectively). Female participants scored significantly worse on 15-WT direct recall (P = .01, d = 0.66), 15-WT delayed recall (P = .01, d = 0.79), SWM total errors (P = .05, d = 0.41), SWM strategy (P = .04, d = 0.43), AGN errors of commission (P = .02, d = 0.56) and omission (P = .04, d = 0.41).

This study shows that subjective cognitive functioning is worse in patients treated for hypopituitarism compared to reference data. Also, female participants treated for hypopituitarism score worse on objective aspects of memory and executive functioning compared to reference data. Besides worse focus attention, this objective cognitive impairment was not found in male participants. It is recommended to conduct additional research, which focuses on the design and evaluation of a cognitive remediation therapy, aimed at compensation of impairments in different aspects of memory and executive functioning.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEndocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2020

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