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Domain-specific cognitive impairment in patients with COPD and control subjects

Authors Cleutjens FAHM, Franssen FME, Spruit MA, Vanfleteren LEGW, Gijsen C, Dijkstra JB, Ponds RWHM, Wouters EFM, Janssen DJA

Received 12 August 2016

Accepted for publication 10 October 2016

Published 19 December 2016 Volume 2017:12 Pages 1—11


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Fiona AHM Cleutjens,1 Frits ME Franssen,1 Martijn A Spruit,1 Lowie EGW Vanfleteren,1 Candy Gijsen,1 Jeanette B Dijkstra,2 Rudolf WHM Ponds,2 Emiel FM Wouters,1,3 Daisy JA Janssen1

1Department of Research and Education, CIRO, Centre of Expertise for Chronic Organ Failure, Horn, 2Department of Medical Psychology, Maastricht UMC+/School for Mental Health and Neurosciences (MHeNS), 3Department of Respiratory Medicine, Maastricht UMC+, Maastricht, the Netherlands

Abstract: Impaired cognitive function is increasingly recognized in COPD. Yet, the prevalence of cognitive impairment in specific cognitive domains in COPD has been poorly studied. The aim of this cross-sectional observational study was to compare the prevalence of domain-specific cognitive impairment between patients with COPD and non-COPD controls. A neuropsychological assessment was administered in 90 stable COPD patients and 90 non-COPD controls with comparable smoking status, age, and level of education. Six core tests from the Maastricht Aging Study were used to assess general cognitive impairment. By using Z-scores, compound scores were constructed for the following domains: psychomotor speed, planning, working memory, verbal memory, and cognitive flexibility. General cognitive impairment and domain-specific cognitive impairment were compared between COPD patients and controls after correction for comorbidities using multivariate linear and logistic regression models. General cognitive impairment was found in 56.7% of patients with COPD and in 13.3% of controls. Deficits in the following domains were more often present in patients with COPD after correction for comorbidities: psychomotor speed (17.8% vs 3.3%; P<0.001), planning (17.8% vs 1.1%; P<0.001), and cognitive flexibility (43.3% vs 12.2%; P<0.001). General cognitive impairment and impairments in the domains psychomotor speed, planning, and cognitive flexibility affect the COPD patients more than their matched controls.

Keywords: cognitive domains, cognitive functioning, cognitive impairment, comorbidities, COPD

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