Using the appropriate tools, a recent study showed an association between subjective and objective cognitive fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). This study illustrated that the Blocked Cyclic Naming Task (BCNT) and cognitive control are useful tools in assessing patients with MS. 21 patients completed baseline questions about their disease, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) battery, and self-reported questionnaires on trait fatigue, sleep, and depression. Disability was captured using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). Participants then performed the BCNT and were asked about their level of state momentary fatigue before and after the BCNT. The BCNT consists of several blocks of either related or unrelated pictures that participants name as quickly as possible. Researchers found:
- MS participants’ performance declined for the related, but not unrelated blocks.
- The difference in response times between related and unrelated conditions increased with repetition across cycles.
- Participants also showed objective fatigability with less repetition priming in the 4th quarter and with greater differences between related and unrelated conditions in the later part of the task.
Cehelyk EK, Harvey DY, Grubb ML, et al. Uncovering the association between fatigue and fatigability in multiple sclerosis using cognitive control. [Published online ahead of print October 27, 2018]. Mult Scler Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.msard.2018.10.112.