A review of cognitive impairment and differential diagnosis in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus

Marta Picascia, Roberta Zangaglia, Sara Bernini, Brigida Minafra, Elena Sinforiani, Claudio Pacchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) is a complex and still underestimated pathology. In the early stages, the cognitive profile is characterized mainly by impairments of attention, psychomotor speed and memory, suggesting frontal involvement; patients with more advanced iNPH show overall cognitive deterioration. The memory impairment, however, seems to be milder than that seen in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Clinical and neuroimaging data are crucial for the diagnosis of iNPH, but the presence of different variables, such as comorbidities, and the possible overlapping with other neurodegenerative diseases, AD in particular, make the differential diagnosis difficult. To date studies seeking to identify possible biological markers have provided inconclusive results; moreover reliable indices predictive of a good response to surgery are still lacking. There is a need for further studies with longer follow-ups and for closer interaction among the different professionals involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-228
Number of pages12
JournalFunctional Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Biological markers
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus
  • Shunt surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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