Memory improvement following cardiac transplantation

Deborah D Roman, S. H. Kubo, S. Ormaza, Gary S Francis, A. J. Bank, Sara J Shumway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Seventeen patients with severe cardiomyopathy underwent neuropsychological evaluation prior to and at least 1 year after successful heart transplantation. Study candidates were screened, and individuals with a history of stroke, cardiac arrest, or medical and neurological conditions which might affect brain function were excluded. Pre-transplant testing revealed normal intelligence and normal attentional, language, and executive abilities but impaired recent memory. Following heart transplant, memory functioning improved significantly, reaching normal levels. Other cognitive abilities remained unchanged. Results suggest that cardiomyopathy is associated with mesial temporal dysfunction, possibly attributable to inadequate or reduced cerebral blood flow and related hypometabolism. This cerebral dysfunction is potentially reversible following successful transplantation, which restores cardiac output and cerebrovascular perfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)692-697
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997


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