Survivors of bacterial meningitis are known to suffer neuropsychological deficits after their acute illness. Previous studies have suggested that viral meningitis may also cause cognitive problems.Primary and Objective
We aimed to determine what the neuropsychological problems encountered by adults with viral meningitis were compared to healthy patients without meningitis and how long their problems lasted.Methods
Patients with viral meningitis and healthy controls completed the ‘Aldenkamp and Baker Neuropsychological Assessment Schedule (ABNAS)’, a 24 item self-administered questionnaire. Patients completed the ABNAS at 4 time points – 6, 12, 24 and 48 weeks post acute illness. Higher ABNAS scores correspond to greater levels of neuropsychological dysfunction, with a worst score possible of 72.Results
Healthy controls (n=224) had a mean total ABNAS score of 7. Comparatively, the patients with viral meningitis had significantly worse scores at all 4 time points. At 6 weeks scoring 22 (p<0.001) (n=73), at 12 Weeks 19.5 (p<0.001) (n=102), at 24 weeks 13.5 (p 0.002) (n=86) and at 48 weeks 16.5 (p<0.001) (n=76).Conclusions
Patients with viral meningitis have significantly worse neuropsychological deficits compared to healthy controls. The deficits showed some improvement initially but failed to improve significantly beyond 24 weeks.