Cognitive functioning in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients is usually related to the classic, dichotomic classification of impaired vs. unimpaired cognition. However, this approach is far from mirroring the real efficiency of cognitive functioning. Applying a different approach in which cognitive functioning is considered as a continuous variable, we aimed at showing that even newly diagnosed relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients might suffer from reduced cognitive functioning with respect to a matched group of neurologically healthy controls (HCs), even if they were classified as having no cognitive impairment (CI). Fifty newly diagnosed RRMS patients and 36 HCs were tested with an extensive battery of neuropsychological tests. By using Z-scores applied to the whole group of RRMS and HCs together, a measure of cognitive functioning (Z-score index) was calculated. Among the 50 RRMS patients tested, 36 were classified as cognitively normal (CN). Even though classified as CN, RRMS patients performed worse than HCs at a global level (p = 0.004) and, more specifically, in the domains of memory (p = 0.005) and executive functioning (p = 0.006). These results highlight that reduced cognitive functioning can be present early in the disease course, even in patients without an evident CI. The current classification criteria of CI in MS should be considered with caution.
|Titolo:||Lost in classification: lower cognitive functioning in apparently cognitive normal newly diagnosed RRMS patients|
CALABRESE, Massimiliano (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 Articolo in Rivista|