Cognitive dysfunction among newly diagnosed older patients with hematological malignancy: frequency, clinical indicators and predictors.

Jpn J Clin Oncol 2018 Jan;48(1):61-67

Department of Psychiatry and Cognitive-Behavioral Medicine, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Aichi.

Background: Medical staff often overlook or underestimate the presence or severity of cognitive dysfunction. The purpose of this study was to clarify the frequency, clinical indicators and predictors of cognitive dysfunction among newly diagnosed older patients with hematologic malignancy receiving first-line chemotherapy.

Methods: Patients aged 65 years or over with a primary diagnosis of malignant lymphoma or multiple myeloma were consecutively recruited. Cognitive dysfunction was evaluated using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) twice: before starting chemotherapy (T1) and 1 month later (T2). Participants also underwent a comprehensive geriatric assessment at T1. Potential clinical indicators that were associated with cognitive dysfunction were explored via cross-sectional analysis at T1. Predictors of cognitive dysfunction at T2 were also investigated among patients without cognitive dysfunction at T1.

Results: A total of 145 participants participated in the study; cognitive dysfunction at T1 was present in 20%. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that lower educational attainment and poorer instrumental activities of daily living were significant clinical indicators of cognitive dysfunction. Among 99 patients who did not have cognitive dysfunction at T1 and underwent cognitive assessment at T2, 7% developed dysfunction. Subjective perception of difficulty remembering at T1 was the only factor which significantly predicted new-onset cognitive dysfunction at T2.

Conclusions: The prevalence rate of cognitive dysfunction was non-negligible among older patients with hematologic malignancy before and immediately after initial chemotherapy. Attention to the clinical indicators and predictors found in this study may provide facilitate the identification of cognitive dysfunction in patients with cancer.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jjco/hyx159DOI Listing
January 2018
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