INTRODUCTION In recent years, advances have occurred in the description of cognitive alterations in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and the development of tools for their assessment. However, in the clinical practice, the neuropsychological assessment of these patients is often non-specific and lacks appropriate standardization. Therefore the development of neuropsychological tests and batteries sensitive and specific for detecting the cognitive alterations in MS patients has become an important subject of study.
AIM To provide a short review about the recent developments in the neuropsychological assessment of MS patients. DEVELOPMENT. We introduce and discuss various sensitive and valid tests that assess cognitive functions often altered in MS patients. In addition, because of their possible impact on cognitive performance, we also present guidelines for evaluating other frequently associated problems (such as mood disorders and fatigue) in MS patients.
CONCLUSIONS The use of sensitive and specific tests makes possible to assess the neuropsychological alterations associated with MS, however, the adaptation of such tests to languages other than English (i.e. Spanish) has just begun. Besides assessing cognitive functioning, the neuropsychological assessment of MS patients should also involve the evaluation of other variables (such as depression or fatigue) that may influence cognitive performance. Improvements in assessing these domains should help to provide better and more specific protocols for the neuropsychological evaluation of MS patients.
KeywordsDepressionFatigueMultiple sclerosisNeuropsychological assessmentCategoriesEsclerosis múltipleNeuropsiquiatría
FULL TEXT(solo disponible en lengua castellana / Only available in Spanish)