Cognitive functioning in patients with trigeminal neuralgia admitted for microvascular decompression and Gamma Knife treatment

Keywords: pain, gamma knife, trigeminal neuralgia, Neuropsychological Testing, microvascular decompression

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     Reviews have shown adverse effects of chronic pain and painmedication on cognition. No study has explored the effects of pain on cognition in patients with Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) yet. 
     The present study examined cognitive performance in patients with TN pre- and post microvascular decompression surgery.
     All patients had trigeminal neuralgia or were healthy controls.
     Patients from the St. Elisabeth Hospital Tilburg were assessed and compared with healthy controls on cognitive functioning with computerized neurocognitive tests. In addition to cognitive data and medical information, self-report ratings on depression, anxiety, and cognition were obtained. The tests and questionnaires were administered on the day before surgery and a second time at a 3-month follow-up.
     The present study shows that patients with Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) have cognitive deficits pre-surgery.
     This was a cohort study. Patients were not randomized.
     In addition we will discuss postoperative cognitive functioning and compare the results with post Gamma Knife cognition. (this part of the study is ongoing)
     Cognitive testing can provide new insights into measuring outcome.


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