Thursday, July 01, 2010

Benign MS and cognition

Portaccio E, Stromillo ML, Goretti B, et al (last author Stefano) .  Neuropsychological and MRI measures predict short term evolution in benign multiple sclerosis.

Consensus for definition of b-MS is those who are fully functional after ten years.  Different systems are used to classify patients.  Authors defined as EDSS < 3 after 15 years of disease duration. 

Authors used Rao BRB and added Stroop test, using a cutoff as 2 SD's below Italian normals.  Patients with 3 or more test failures were classified as cognitively impaired.  Tests included SRT, SPART (spatial recall, 10/36 cutoff), PASAT, SDMT, WLG, Stroop. 

Authors followed patients at a mean of five years, using "still benign" measure.  Disability was EDSS>4, or increase of 1.5 if starting EDSS was zero, or increase of >1 point if starting EDSS was > 1 confirmed at six months.  31.8 percent of patients with "b-MS" were impaired at baseline cognitively.  Additional 16 % failed one test and 19 % failed 2 cognitive tests at baseline.  At followup, 43 % had EDSS progression of one or more points, confirmed.  18 % became "no longer benign," or "NLB."  NLB subjects had more relapses during followup period, but not in year before, and related to male gender and number of tests failed. Also baseline T1 lesion volume was predictive. 

Benedict RHB, Fazekas F.  Beningn or not benign MS: a role for routine neuropsychological assessment?  Neurology 2009; 73: 494-495.  Authors mention BRB and MacFims, each having alternate forms that permit repeat testing every 2-3 years. 

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