All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for April 2003

The utility of computerized neuropsychological assessment of cognitive dysfunction in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

Mult Scler 2003 Mar;9(2):119-27
Wilken JA, Kane R, Sullivan CL, Wallin M, Usiskin JB, Quig ME, Simsarian J, Saunders C, Crayton H, Mandler R, Kerr D, Reeves D, Fuchs K, Manning C, Keller M.
Department of Psychology, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington, DC, 20422, USA.

Traditional paper-and-pencil neuropsychological batteries used to document cognitive deficits in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients lack timing precision.

This makes it difficult to accurately measure psychomotor slowing, a central cognitive symptom of MS.

Additionally, traditional batteries lack multiple alternate forms necessary to control for practice effects when assessing cognition over time.

Finally such batteries are lengthy and expensive.

Computerized neuropsychological batteries address many of these shortcomings.

They measure response time more precisely, require less administration time, include alternate forms, and are ideal for rapid screening/triage.

Although there are normative data on the reliability and validity of computerized measures, there have been no controlled validation studies with MS patients.

The current study was designed to validate a computerized neuropsychological battery (ANAM) for use with relapsing-remitting (RR) MS patients.

Prior to initiation of interferon-beta-1a (Avonex) treatment, subjects participated in a neuropsychological evaluation consisting of traditional and computerized measures.

Moderate-to-high correlations were found between computerized and traditional measures.

Computerized tests accurately predicted performance on key traditional tests.

The battery was also concordant with traditional measures in identifying RR MS patients with and without neurocognitive impairment.

Findings are discussed with respect to increased accuracy and accessibility of neuropsychological evaluations for MS patients.