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Information Processing Speed In Multiple Sclerosis

  1. Information processing speed: A key deficit in Multiple Sclerosis
    J Neurol NeuroSurg Psychiatry 1999 Nov;67(5):661-3

  2. Information processing characteristics in subtypes of Multiple Sclerosis
    NeuroPsychologia 2002;40(11):1751-65

  3. Cognitive dysfunction in mildly disabling Relapsing/Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: an exploratory study with Diffusion Tensor MR imaging
    J Neurol Sci 2002 Mar 30;195(2):103-9


Information Processing Speed - A Key Deficit In
Multiple Sclerosis: Implications For Rehabilitation

Demaree HA, DeLuca J, Gaudino EA, Diamond BJ
J Neurol NeuroSurg Psychiatry 1999 Nov;67(5):661-3
Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Research and Education Corporation, NeuroPsychology & NeuroScience Laboratory, West Orange, NJ, USA, and UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Depts of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and NeuroSciences
PMID# 10519876; UI# 99451145

Speed of information processing was assessed in patients with Multiple Sclerosis and healthy controls using both an Auditory and Visual Task designed to control for accuracy of performance across groups.

After controlling for accuracy of performance, patients with Multiple Sclerosis were found to have significantly slower speed of Information Processing relative healthy controls, irrespective of the modality of stimulus presentation (Auditory or Visual).

When given an adequate amount of time to process information, however, the patients performed similarly to controls.

These results suggest that persons with Multiple Sclerosis experience deficits specifically in Processing Speed but not performance accuracy.

Results are discussed in terms of rehabilitative guidelines for the Cognitive improvement of persons with Multiple Sclerosis.


Information Processing Characteristics In Subtypes Of Multiple Sclerosis

De Sonneville L, Boringa J, Reuling I, Lazeron R, Ader H, Polman C
NeuroPsychologia 2002;40(11):1751-65
Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre, Department of Pediatrics, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
PMID# 12062887

The purpose of this study was to evaluate information processing characteristics in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We selected 53 patients with MS and 58 matched healthy controls.

Using computerized tests, we investigated Focused, Divided, Sustained Attention, and Executive Function, and attempted to pinpoint deficits in attentional control to Peripheral or Central Processing stages.

The results substantiate the hypothesis that the slowing of Attention-Demanding (Controlled) Information Processing underlying more complex Cognitive Skills is general, i.e. irrespective of type of controlled processing, with MS patients being 40% slower than controls.

MS patients may suffer from Focused, and Divided and Sustained Attention Deficits, as well as from compromized Central Processing Stages.

With Secondary/Progressive (SP) patients showing the most extensive range of deficits, closely followed by Primary/Progressive (PP) patients, while Relapsing/Remitting (RR) patients appear to be much less affected.

General slowing appears to be highest in PP and SP type MS patients (50% slower) versus Relapsing/Remitting MS (24% slower).

In contrast to most previous results, Complex Processing Speed appeared to be robustly correlated with severity of MS as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale and with disease duration.

Patients did much less differ in accuracy of processing from controls, suggesting the importance of using time strategies in planning everyday life and job activities to compensate for or alleviate MS-related speed handicaps.

Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.


Cognitive dysfunction In Mildly Disabling Relapsing/Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: An Exploratory Study With Diffusion Tensor MR Imaging

Rovaris M, Iannucci G, Falautano M, Possa F, Martinelli V, Comi G, Filippi M
J Neurol Sci 2002 Mar 30;195(2):103-9
Scientific Institute and University Ospedale San Raffaele, NeuroImaging Research Unit, Department of NeuroScience, via Olgettina 60, 20132, Milan, Italy
PMID# 11897239

Previous studies assessing the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) correlates of Cognitive Dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) achieved conflicting results.

Diffusion Tensor (DT)-MRI provides metrics that are sensitive to the macro- and microscopic MS lesion load with increased specificity to the more destructive aspects of MS pathology than conventional imaging.

We performed an exploratory study to assess the magnitude of the correlation between quantities derived from DT-MRI and measures of Cognitive Impairment in patients with Relapsing/Remitting (RR) MS.

T2, T1, DT-MRI scans of the Brain and an extensive battery of NeuroPsychological Tests (exploring Language, Complex Reasoning, Attention and Memory) were obtained from 34 RRMS patients.

We measured T2 and T1 lesion volumes (LV) and Brain volume. Average lesion Mean Diffusivity (Diffusivity) and Fractional Anisotropy (FA) were calculated.

D and FA Histograms from the Brain Tissue (BT), the Normal-Appearing Brain Tissue (NABT), the Normal-Appearing White Matter (NAWM) and the Normal-Appearing Gray Matter (NAGM) were also obtained.

Nine patients (26.5%) were found to be Cognitively impaired.

Moderate correlations were found between Symbol Digit Modalities Test, Verbal Fluency Test and 10/36 Spatial Recall Test scores and T2 LV, T1 LV and average lesion, WBT, NABT, NAWM and NAGM values (r values ranging from -0.30 to -0.53).

No correlations were found between any of the NeuroPsychological test scores and Brain volume, average lesion FA and WBT FA.

DT-MRI provides quantitative metrics that seem to reflect the severity of Language, Attention and Memory Deficits in patients with RRMS.

This study also suggests that the extent and the intrinsic nature of the macroscopic lesions as well as the damage of the NAWM and NAGM all contribute to the NeuroPsychological deficits of RRMS patients.

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