NeuroPsychology Of Multiple Sclerosis

Rao SM
Curr Opin Neurol 1995 Jun;8(3):216-20
Medical College of Wisconsin, Dept of Neurology, Milwaukee, USA

PMID# 7551121

NeuroPsychological investigations have demonstrated that Cognitive disorders are common (45-65%) in patients with Multiple Sclerosis. This review summarizes our current understanding of the nature and etiology of these disorders.

Specifically, NeuroPsychological deficits regularly occur on measures of Recent Memory, Attention, Information-Processing Speed, Executive Functions, and VisuoSpatial Perception.

In contrast, General Intelligence, Language, and certain aspects of Memory (Short-Term Capacity and Implicit) are preserved.

The degree and pattern of Cognitive Dysfunction is highly correlated with the amount and location of White-Matter disease within the Cerebral Hemispheres.

Natural history studies indicate that changes in Cognitive test performance are correlated with increasing lesion load on Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

The development of brief Cognitive-testing instruments for clinical screening and measuring treatment effects in clinical trials is underway. A clear weakness in the literature is the dearth of studies evaluating potential treatments for Cognitive disorders.

Executive Functions In Multiple Sclerosis

Arnett PA, Rao SM, Grafman J, Bernardin L, Luchetta T, Binder JR, Lobeck L
Neuropsychology 1997 Oct;11(4):535-44
Dept ofPsychology, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-4820, USA
PMID# 9345697

Previous studies have consistently demonstrated Impairments in Conceptual Reasoning and Set-Shifting abilities in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Other Executive functions have been less frequently examined.

We compared 44 MS patients and 48 demographically matched controls on a Temporal-Ordering and Semantic-Encoding task and on a test of planning (Tower of Hanoi).

Compared with controls, MS patients experienced deficient Semantic Encoding and Planning but unimpaired Temporal-Order Memory.

For both tasks, post hoc analyzes indicated that Chronic/Progressive MS patients contributed most to the group differences.

A combination of Poor Planning and Slowed Information-Processing Speed was hypothesized to have contributed to MS patients' impaired Tower of Hanoi performance.

Further research is needed to explore the possible relationship between Semantic-Encoding and Planning deficits in MS and social and occupational disabilities.

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