Neurocognitive outcomes of tuberculous meningitis in a primarily HIV-positive Ugandan cohort

Fiona V. Cresswell, Carson M. Quinn, John Kasibante, Alice Namudde, Ananta S. Bangdiwala, Mable Kabahubya, Noeline Nakasujja, Sarah Lofgren, Alison Elliott, David R. Boulware, David B. Meya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The toll of tuberculous meningitis (TBM) in both mortality and disability is considerable, but advancements in rehabilitation have the potential to improve the functional abilities and the quality of survivors' lives. However, the typical phenotype of neurocognitive impairment in TBM survivors remains unstudied in HIV-predominant populations in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods: We tested 36 survivors of TBM in Uganda with a comprehensive battery of neurocognitive assessments at 8 and 24 weeks after diagnosis, and compared results to a representative cohort of HIV-uninfected Ugandans. Results: While participants had a broad range of impairments at eight weeks, there was marked improvement by 24 weeks, when a phenotype of impairment including deficits in motor functioning, verbal learning and memory, processing speed, and executive function emerged. These deficits were present despite good clinician-rated functional status. The majority (23/27, 85%) had evidence of moderate to severe depression at week 8, and at week 24 (18/24, 75%). Conclusion: These findings highlight the need for more comprehensive neurocognitive assessment in the survivors of TBM, and further investment in and study of rehabilitation, including management of depression, to improve long-term outcomes in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number208
JournalWellcome Open Research
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Ned Sacktor for his pioneering work in neurocognitive assessments in Africa.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Quinn CM et al.


  • Depression
  • Functional
  • HIV
  • Neurocognitive
  • Psychiatric
  • Tuberculous Meningitis


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