Article

Benign multiple sclerosis: cognitive, psychological and social aspects in a clinical cohort.

Department of Neurology, University of Florence, Viale Morgagni 85, 50134 Florence, Italy.
Journal of Neurology (Impact Factor: 3.84). 08/2006; 253(8):1054-9.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A study of cognitive, psychological and social aspects in benign multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods One hundred and sixty three patients with benign MS (defined as disease duration > or = 15 years and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score < or = 3.0 ) underwent neuropsychological testing on the Rao's Brief Repeatable Battery (BRB) and the Stroop test, evaluation of depression on the Montgomery and Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), of fatigue on the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and of handicap on the Environmental Status Scale (ESS). Patients' cognitive performance was compared with that of 111 demographically matched healthy controls. Cognitive impairment was defined as the failure in at least 3 tests, using the fifth percentile of controls' performance as the cut-off point. Clinical correlates of cognitive impairment were determined by multiple logistic regression analysis.
Cognitive assessment led to the identification of 74 subjects (45%) with cognitive impairment. Significant fatigue was found in 80 subjects (49%) and depression in 88 patients (54%). In comparison with cognitively preserved subjects, cognitively impaired patients exhibited higher handicap scores on the ESS (p = 0.005). In the regression analysis, only EDSS scores were significantly associated with cognitive impairment (OR 1.8, 95%CI 1.2-2.6).
Current definitions of benign MS may overestimate this entity, since they are mainly weighted for the patients' motor abilities and fail to capture relevant disease-related cognitive, psychological and social problems.

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    • "In particular, failure of a test was defined when the score was at least two standard deviations (SDs) below the mean normative values. Consistently with previous works [28], [29], those patients who failed at least three tests were considered CI (cognitive impaired), and those who failed less than three tests were considered CP (cognitive preserved). A grading system was applied to each patient's score on each cognitive test, dependent on the number of SDs below the normative mean (0: patient scored at or above normative mean; 1: patient scored ≤1 SD below normative mean; 2: patient scored >1 SD, but ≤2 SD below normative mean, etc.). "
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic ablation of type-1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs) exacerbates the neurodegenerative damage of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the rodent model of multiple sclerosis (MS). To address the role on CB1Rs in the pathophysiology of human MS, we first investigated the impact of AAT trinucleotide short tandem repeat polymorphism of CNR1 gene on CB1R cell expression, and secondly on the inflammatory neurodegeneration process responsible for irreversible disability in MS patients. We found that MS patients with long AAT repeats within the CNR1 gene (≥12 in both alleles) had more pronounced neuronal degeneration in response to inflammatory white matter damage both in the optic nerve and in the cortex. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), in fact, showed more severe alterations of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness and of the macular volume (MV) after an episode of optic neuritis in MS patients carrying the long AAT genotype of CNR1. MS patients with long AAT repeats also had magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evidence of increased gray matter damage in response to inflammatory lesions of the white matter, especially in areas with a major role in cognition. In parallel, visual abilities evaluated at the low contrast acuity test, and cognitive performances were negatively influenced by the long AAT CNR1 genotype in our sample of MS patients. Our results demonstrate the biological relevance of the (AAT)n CNR1 repeats in the inflammatory neurodegenerative damage of MS.
    PLoS ONE 12/2013; 8(12):e82848. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0082848 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Recently, the diagnostic criteria for BMS have been redefined as an EDSS score ≤ 2.0 after a disease duration of at least 10 years [12]. However, the debate has been reopened by recent reports which state that cognitive impairment was detected in 45% of a large group of patients fulfilling traditional criteria for BMS [27], but also by the suggestion that neuropsychological tests can contribute to a more accurate identification of “true” BMS [23,27-29]. In this study we provide evidence that the EP score may be an interesting covariate for the definition of BMS. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The prognostic value of evoked potentials (EPs) in multiple sclerosis (MS) has not been fully established. The correlations between the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) at First Neurological Evaluation (FNE) and the duration of the disease, as well as between EDSS and EPs, have influenced the outcome of most previous studies. To overcome this confounding relations, we propose to test the prognostic value of EPs within an appropriate patient population which should be based on patients with low EDSS at FNE and short disease duration. Methods We retrospectively selected a sample of 143 early relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) patients with an EDSS < 3.5 from a larger database spanning 20 years. By means of bivariate logistic regressions, the best predictors of worsening were selected among several demographic and clinical variables. The best multivariate logistic model was statistically validated and prospectively applied to 50 patients examined during 2009–2011. Results The Evoked Potentials score (EP score) and the Time to EDSS 2.0 (TT2) were the best predictors of worsening in our sample (Odds Ratio 1.10 and 0.82 respectively, p=0.001). Low EP score (below 15–20 points), short TT2 (lower than 3–5 years) and their interaction resulted to be the most useful for the identification of worsening patterns. Moreover, in patients with an EP score at FNE below 6 points and a TT2 greater than 3 years the probability of worsening was 10% after 4–5 years and rapidly decreased thereafter. Conclusions In an appropriate population of early RRMS patients, the EP score at FNE is a good predictor of disability at low values as well as in combination with a rapid buildup of disability. Interestingly, an EP score at FNE under the median together with a clinical stability lasting more than 3 years turned out to be a protective pattern. This finding may contribute to an early identification of benign patients, well before the term required to diagnose Benign MS (BMS).
    BMC Neurology 08/2012; 12(1):80. DOI:10.1186/1471-2377-12-80 · 2.49 Impact Factor
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    • "Cognitive impairment is one of the major factors affecting the social functioning and quality of life of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, being described in 45–65% of the clinical cases [1] [2]. The scales most commonly used for clinical classification of MS-related disability, such as the expanded disability status scale (EDSS) [3], are focused on locomotor dysfunction. "
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    ABSTRACT: The corpus callosum is the largest fiber bundle in the central nervous system and it takes part in several cognitive pathways. It can be affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) early in the disease. DTI is capable of infering the microstructural organization of the white matter. The vectorial analysis of the DTI offers the more specific indices of axial diffusivity (AD) and radial diffusivity (RD), which have shown to be useful to discriminate myelin damage from axon loss, respectively. This study presents DTI results (mean diffusivity (MD), fractional anisotropy (FA), RD, and AD) of 23 relapsing-remitting MS patients and its correlation with cognitive performance. There were 47.8% of cognitive impaired patients (MS CI). We found signs of demyelination, reflected by increased RD, and incipient axon loss, reflected by AD increase, which was slightly higher in the MS CI. The cognitive changes correlated with the DTI parameters, suggesting that loss of complexity in CC connections can impair neural conduction. Thus, cognitive impairment can be related to callosal disconnection, and DTI can be a promising tool to evaluate those changes.
    07/2011; 2011(2090-2654):304875. DOI:10.1155/2011/304875
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