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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282X


MANGONE, C.A. et al. Cognitive impairment in human chronic Chagas' disease. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 1994, vol.52, n.2, pp.200-203. ISSN 0004-282X.

We proposed to investigate subclinical cognitive impairment secondary to chronic Chagas' disease (CCD). No similar study was previously done. The neuropsychological performance of 45 chronic Chagasic patients and 26 matched controls (age, education place and years of residency in endemic area) was compared using the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE), Weschler Memory Scale (WMS) and the Weschler Adult Intelligent Scale (WAIS). Non-parametric tests and Chi2 were used to compare group means and multivariate statistics in two way frequency tables for measures of independence and association of categorical variables with the disease. Results: Chagasic patients showed lower MMSE scores (p<004), poor orientation (p<.004), and attention (p<.007). Lower WMS MQ were associated with CCD (Chi2 5.9; p<.01; Fisher test p<.02). Lower WAIS IQ were associated with CCD (Chi2 6.3, p<.01; Fisher test p<.01) being the digit symbol (p<.03), picture completion (p<.03), picture arrangement (p<.01) and object assembly (p<.03) subtests the most affected. The impairment in non-verbal reasoning, speed of information processing, problem solving, learning and sequencing observed in chronic Chagas disease patients resembles the cognitive dysfunction associated with white matter disease.

Keywords : Chagas' disease; cognitive dysfunction; cerebral white matter involvement.

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