Tooze, Alana (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Patients with pituitary adenoma often report problems with cognitive function. However, the current literature is inconsistent on the types of cognitive deficits that patients experience. Chapter 1 of this thesis reviews the current literature and the questions that are still unanswered concerning the cognitive function of this patient group. Chapter 2 outlines the methodology used to assess the neurocognitive function of a group of patients with non-functioning pituitary adenoma. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 report and discuss the results of this assessment for general intellectual functioning, memory and executive functions. Chapter 6 discusses the physiological correlates of these results and finally, Chapter 7 presents the first fMRI experiment used to assess both content and context abilities in this patient group. The results of this thesis suggest that patients have intact general intellectual functioning and executive functions, in the presence of relative immediate memory impairment. Having hormone levels outside the normal range are a better predictor of dysfunction than treatment received. This thesis does not implicate surgery or radiotherapy as having adverse consequences to patients’ neurocognitive functioning.
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