Neurocognitive Functioning in Women with a History of Eclampsia: Executive Functioning and Sustained Attention

Ineke R. Postma, Ineke Wessel, Jan G. Aarnoudse, Gerda G. Zeeman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, information has emerged that formerly eclamptic women may suffer cognitive impairment. This may be related to cerebral white matter lesions. The few available reports demonstrate inconsistent results. We sought to elucidate cognitive performance after eclampsia in a pilot study. Twenty-six eclamptic, 20 preeclamptic, and 18 healthy parous women performed the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART; the ability to sustain mindful processing of repetitive stimuli that would otherwise lead to habituation) and the Random Number Generation Task (RNG; executive functioning, i.e., inhibition and updating/monitoring). Average age was 40 years, elapsed time since index pregnancy was 9 years. Education levels did not differ. There were no intercurrent illnesses. No significant differences were found on SART and RNG scores between groups. This study was not able to demonstrate evidence for impaired sustained attention and executive functioning after eclampsia. Studies including a much wider range of neurocognitive tests amplified to posterior brain regions with larger groups are necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-690
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2010


  • Cognitive failure
  • eclampsia
  • posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES)
  • preeclampsia

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