Cognitive and Neurobehavioral Functional Outcomes Before and After Otic Capsule Repair

Research study demonstrates that cognitive dysfunction in patients with otic capsule defects can be measured and that improvements in depression and cognitive function can be accomplished with appropriate, targeted, vestibular surgery.(From Abstract; click here to view the original paper, published in Otology & Neurotology)


Patients with peripheral vestibular dysfunction because of gravitational receptor asymmetries display signs of cognitive dysfunction and are assumed to have neurobehavioral sequelae. This was tested with pre- and postoperatively quantitative measurements in three cohort groups with superior semicircular canal dehiscence syndrome (SSCDS) symptoms with: 1) superior canal dehiscence (SCD) repaired via a middle cranial fossa craniotomy and canal plugging only; 2) otic capsule defects not visualized with imaging (no-iOCD) repaired with round window reinforcement (RWR) only; or 3) both SCD plugging and subsequent development of no-iOCD followed by RWR.


The pattern of differences between the SCD group and the no-iOCD group from WRAML verbal, visual, and attention test performance indicate different postoperative clinical trajectories. For the WRAML, there was a statistically significant improvement for visual memory and verbal memory for the no-iOCD only and both (SCD and subsequent no-iOCD) groups, but no mean improvement for the SCD only group. By contrast, the no-iOCD group had significantly lower scores on the WRAML attention test preoperatively, but they recovered postoperatively to match the other groups. The preoperative findings and postoperative outcomes did not differ significantly among patient groups on the WRAML working memory test, D-KEFS motor scores, D-KEFS number and letter scores, or Wide Range Intelligence Test scores. There was a significant decrease in the BDI for all groups. The IQ scores were unchanged. There was a statistically significant improvement in the DHI and HIT-6 scores postoperatively in all groups.


There was a marked overall improvement in cognitive and neurobehavioral function postoperatively. Variability may result from duration of underlying disease before intervention. The initial decrement or delay in performance improvement measured in several patients may represent brain reorganization. Greater longitudinal data and greater subject numbers are necessary to better understand and optimize cognitive recovery.