Twenty-seven previously healthy (of 36 consecutive eligible patients), HIV-negative cryptococcal meningoencephalitis (CM) patients underwent comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation during the late post-treatment period (1.3–4 years post diagnosis), assessing attention, language, learning, memory, visuospatial, executive function, information processing, psychomotor functioning, as well as mood symptoms. Seven of eight domains (all except attention) showed increased percentages of CM patients scoring in the less than 16th percentile range compared to standardized normative test averages, adjusted for education level and age. Comparison with a matched archival dataset of mild cognitive impairment/Alzheimer’s disease patients showed that CM patients exhibited relative deficits in psychomotor and executive function with fewer deficits in memory and learning, consistent with a frontal-subcortical syndrome. MRI evaluation at the time of testing demonstrated an association of lower neuropsychological functioning with ventriculomegaly. These studies suggest that CM should be included in the list of treatable causes of dementia in neurological work ups. Future studies are needed to identify diagnostic and treatment regimens that may enhance neurological function after therapy.
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