Assessing the validity of a computer-generated cognitive screening instrument for patients with MS

40-65% of people with MS have cognitive difficulties. The most common deficits are those relating to information processing speed and memory but also problems with executive function, visuospatial processing and verbal fluency may also be found.

This study group looked at validating a brief, simple to use computer generated battery that included the Stroop, Symbol Digit Modalities Test (C-SDMT), a two and four second visual analog of the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PVSAT-2, PVSAT-4) and simple and choice reaction time test. The study included 96 people with MS and 98 healthy controls.

The minimal assessment of Cognitive Function in MS was used to define cognitive impairment in the MS group. The results from the three tests (C-SDMT, 2-PVSAT, 4-PVSAT), administered via computer with technician supervision, had good sensitivity (82.5%) and specificity (87.5%) in determining the presence of cognitive dysfunction as defined by a conventional neuropsychological battery. Each test was able to differentiate people with MS from healthy controls.

Authors: Lapshin H, Lanctôt KL

Source: Mult Scler. 2013 May 7. [Epub ahead of print]

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