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Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2013;35(3-4):197-207. doi: 10.1159/000347147. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Association between milder brain deformation before a shunt operation and improvement in cognition and gait in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus.

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Department of Psychiatry, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita, Japan.


We investigated the association between the degree of deformation of the brain before shunt operation and improvement of gait and cognitive impairment after shunt operation in 16 patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH). We evaluated gait and cognitive impairment and measured the cerebrospinal fluid volume in the ventricles/sylvian fissure (vVS) and the subarachnoid space at high convexity/midline areas (vHCM) using MR images with voxel-based morphometry before and 3 months after shunt operation. We used the ratio of vVS to vHCM (vVS/vHCM) as an index of the severity of brain deformation. After shunt operation, improvements were observed in gait, as shown by the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test and 10-meter reciprocating walking test (WT), and in cognitive function, as shown by the Mini-Mental State Examination, Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale, Frontal Assessment battery (FAB), and Trail Making test A (TMT-A). The vVS/vHCM ratio was negatively correlated with improvement of the FAB, TMT-A and TUG. Preoperative vVS/vHCM was not significantly correlated with preoperative clinical assessments. The rate of change of vVS/vHCM was positively correlated with improvement in the WT. The improvements of gait and cognitive function were larger in iNPH patients with milder deformation of the brain before shunt operation.

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