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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Clinical treatment reverses attentional deficits in congestive heart failure.

BACKGROUND: Congestive heart failure (CHF) is associated with cognitive deficits, particularly of memory and attention. The present study aims to clarify whether clinical treatment can reverse the attentional deficits of patients with CHF. METHODS: A convenience sample of 50 patients with CHF functional class IV and 30 elderly controls were recruited from a teaching hospital in Brazil. Participants received a clinical and cognitive examination that included the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Cambridge Cognitive Examination of the Elderly (CAMCOG), Digit Span, Digit-Symbol Substitution, and Letter Cancellation test. The cognitive performance of CHF patients was reassessed 6 weeks after the introduction of clinical treatment. RESULTS: Twenty-seven CHF subjects had MMSE<24, compared to only 10 of the controls (p = 0.07). CHF patients also had lower CAMCOG scores (mean = 71.8) than controls (mean = 82.0; p < 0.01). Digit Span, Digit Symbol and Letter Cancellation scores were lower for patients with CHF than controls (p < 0.01). Similarly patients with CHF took longer to complete the Trail Making A (p = 0.07) and B (p < 0.01). CAMCOG scores and left ventricular ejection fraction were moderately correlated (rho = 0.4, p < 0.01). Nineteen patients were lost for follow-up (11 deceased). Clinical treatment was associated with significant improvement of cognitive scores, particularly on the Digit Symbol (p < 0.01) and Letter Cancellation Tests (p < 0.01). Digit Span, Digit Symbol, Letter Cancellation and Trail Making scores of treated CHF patients and controls were similar (p > 0.10). CONCLUSIONS: CHF is associated with deficits in attention and psychomotor speed. These deficits improve with clinical treatment.[1]


  1. Clinical treatment reverses attentional deficits in congestive heart failure. Almeida, O.P., Tamai, S. BMC geriatrics [electronic resource]. (2001) [Pubmed]
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