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Cognitive Reserve Lessens Disability’s Effect on MS

Clin Neuropsychol; ePub 2018 Aug 28; Cadden, et al

Cognitive reserve (CR) moderates the relationship between disability and depression in multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a recent study. Furthermore, disability does not appear to influence depression in those with high CR. Researchers examined 54 individuals within a study that explored the moderating role of CR on the relationship between disability and depression. Depression was measured using the Beck Depression Inventory-Fast Screen (BDI-FS). CR was conceptualized in 2 ways: Fixed CR and Malleable CR. In addition to collecting demographic (education) and disease burden (Expanded Disability Status Scale [EDSS]) related variables, participants completed a neuropsychological test battery and psychosocial questionnaires. They found:

  • The interaction between EDSS and both conceptualizations of CR were significant.
  • Simple effects testing revealed the same pattern regardless of the type of CR examined; EDSS predicted depression only in those with low CR.


Cadden MH, Guty ET, Arnett PA. Cognitive reserve attenuates the effect of disability on depression in multiple sclerosis. [Published online ahead of print August 28, 2018]. Clin Neuropsychol. doi:10.1093/arclin/acy067.

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