Vol. 15 nº 1 - Jan/Feb/Mar de 2021
Original Article Páginas: 145 a 152

Comparison of screening tests in the evaluation of cognitive status of patients with epilepsy

Authors Mayla Cristine de Souza; Carolina Oliveira de Paulo; Larissa Miyashiro; Carlos Alexandre Twardowschy


keywords: epilepsy, cognition, memory disorders.

Epilepsy, a chronic neurological condition which is associated with neurobiological and psychosocial changes, affects 0.5 to 1% of the world's population, presenting in most cases a deficit in reasoning, memory and attention.
OBJECTIVE: To contribute to the implementation of screening strategies for cognitive decline and memory deficits in patients with epilepsy.
METHODS: Two questionnaires, MMSE and MoCA, were used in this cross-sectional and observational study. Fifty-four patients diagnosed with different types of epilepsy (55% refractory) were assessed; they were all over 18 years old, of both genders, with autonomy to answer the questionnaire. They were followed exclusively at an outpatient clinic of the Neurology Service Department, specialized in epilepsy, which is part of the tertiary healthcare level of the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS).
RESULTS: The final sample consisted of 54 patients. There was a significant correlation (p<0.001) between the scores of both tests, indicating that low values in the MMSE score also corresponded to low values in the MoCA score. Sensitivity was 90% (ROC curve adjusted) and 87.5% of the patients with a normal score in the MMSE test obtained alterations in the MoCA scores. None of them showed a low MMSE score with a normal MOCA score. The Spearman correlation coefficient was 0.80. Also, there was a significant relationship between both immediate memory and delayed recall memory and the type of seizure (p<0.03) and level of schooling (p<0.001), respectively.
CONCLUSION: The MoCA is a well-suited test to be performed in epilepsy patients to evaluate their cognition as it seems more extensive and complete compared to MMSE.


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