Neuropsychological tests in a group of patients with ischaemic heart disease
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Psychiatr Pol 2013;47(1):5–16
Aim. Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) tops the list of sick and death rates all over the world. IHD brings the risk of central nervous system disturbances. On the other hand lower neuro-psychological tests results enable to predict cardiac relapse. We assess the neuropsychological function such as working memory and executive functions, associated with prefrontal cortex activity, as well as direct and delayed verbal memory in patients with ischemic heart disease vs. healthy subjects. Methods. The following neuropsychological tests were applied in the study for evaluation of cognitive functions: the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT). Results. In the patients with IHD a significant intensification of cognitive dysfunctions (working memory and executive dysfunctions also immediate and delayed memory) was observed in comparison with the control group of healthy subjects. Conclusions. Cognitive dysfunctions are widespread effect among IHD patients. Working memory and executive functions disturbances are especially dangerous in this group because they can result in problems with understanding, learning new information and difficulties in following medical recommendations which may cause consecutive hospitalisations. The seriousness of cognitive disturbances consequences motivate to evaluate all patients and initiate neurocognitive rehabilitation programs when needed.