Abstract / Description of output

BACKGROUND: Progressive MS is associated with a high frequency of cognitive impairment. However, it is not clear to what extent this reflects global dysfunction, or independent deficits in specific functions. OBJECTIVE: To characterise patterns of cognitive impairment in progressive MS on a multi-dimensional cognitive assessment tool well established in neurodegenerative diseases. METHODS: Patients with secondary (SPMS; n=60) and primary progressive MS (PPMS; n=28) were assessed using the Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination-Revised (ACE-R) multi-dimensional cognitive assessment scale. Independent dimensions of impairment and their relative contribution to the overall burden of cognitive dysfunction were then determined by factor analysis. RESULTS: Two independent dimensions of impairment were seen: frontal-executive (attention, verbal fluency, recall) on one hand, and language and visuospatial functions on the other. These accounted for 55% and 45% respectively of the variance not explained by a global influence (14.2% and 11.6% respectively of total variance). Isolated language and visuospatial dysfunction was seen in both groups, whereas isolated impairment in frontal-executive functions was underrepresented in SPMS (p=0.001) and not seen in PPMS patients (p=0.040). CONCLUSIONS: In addition to a prominent global influence on cognitive performance, patients with progressive MS commonly exhibit language and visuospatial deficits. Evaluation of these abilities should therefore be included in clinical assessment of cognition in progressive MS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-265
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioural Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2013


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