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Does chronic lung failure lead to cognitive failure?

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Neuropsychology Unit, Clinica del Lavoro Foundation, Veruno, Italy.


This study seeks to find out whether impaired cognition is associated with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Two experiments have been carried out to address two aspects of selective attention: a focused attention paradigm with a random and a facilitated condition and a divided attention paradigm with and without interference. Twenty-eight COPD patients and 28 matched healthy controls took part in both experiments. Reaction time (RT) was the variable considered. COPD patients had slower RTs than controls, however facilitation and interference had the same effect on both groups. No correlation was found between neuropsychological measures and lung failure indices. A threshold model in the lung-failure/brain-failure trade-off is envisaged.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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