Study: Neuropsychological tests useful tool for real life activity in MS

September 23, 2019
A recent review of research literature explored the relationship between neuropsychological assessment and predictability of performance of everyday life activities among people with multiple sclerosis. Neuropsychological assessment was found to be among the tools useful for measuring the effect of MS on everyday activities.

People with MS often undergo neuropsychological testing to evaluate the influence of cognitive effects on their ability to perform everyday life activities. To be a useful tool for the clinicians who care for these individuals, it is important that their performance on neuropsychological testing parallels their function in everyday life. Kessler Foundation researchers examined this issue, as well as the broader context for the question: Are neuropsychological tests ecologically valid?

The authors examined the literature on the relationships between cognitive and functional domains in the MS population. Cognitive functions included processing speed, executive function, visuospatial function, learning and memory, working memory, and verbal fluency. Functional domains included driving, employment, internet shopping and financial/medical decision-making. They found that neuropsychological tests do have predictive value for individuals' behavior in these real life settings.

Researchers note that to best serve the clinical needs of individuals with MS, neuropsychological testing needs to be viewed in larger context comprising noncognitive variables, such as motor ability and demographic values, fatigue and depression, and disease activity and level of disability, as well as person-specific factors such as personality and coping styles.

The article was published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal.

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