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Reliable and convenient method to assess cognitive function in MS patients

Presented By
Dr Yusei Miyazaki, NHO Hokkaido Medical Center, Japan
Conference
ECF 2020

In a Japanese study, the Processing Speed Test (PST) score correlated with physical disability, brain volume, depression, fatigue, and quality of life in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

Cognitive dysfunction in MS patients is known to be associated with physical disability and impaired quality of life, but is often overlooked in clinical practice. To assess cognitive function in MS patients, several tests have been developed. However, performing these tests is challenging in routine clinical settings because of time constraints and unavailability of trained technicians.

The PST is a tablet/computer application designed to evaluate cognitive function in patients with MS. It is a modified form of the Symbol Digit Modality Test (SDMT) and its close performance correlates with the original SDMT. One advantage of the PST is that it can be performed by patients themselves in a relatively short period. Therefore, the test is a reliable and convenient method for assessing cognitive function in MS patients in clinical settings.

Dr Yusei Miyazaki (NHO Hokkaido Medical Center, Japan) and colleagues evaluated the usefulness of the PST by assessing the relationship between performance and physiological disability domains of this test and brain volume, depression, fatigue, and quality of life in MS patients. Included were 47 patients with a mean age of 40.7; 68% were female; mean disease duration was 10.1 years; and median Expended Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score 2.0.

The mean PST score was 53.6, and this correlated negatively with EDSS, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)-II, and Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS); while correlating positively with total brain volume, cortical grey matter volume, and Functional Assessment of MS (FAMS) score. The authors suggested that the PST is a reliable and convenient tool to evaluate cognitive function in MS patients.

  1. Miyazaki Y, et al. Clinical utility of the Processing Speed Test in patients with multiple sclerosis. ECF 28th Annual Meeting. Abstract 76.


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