Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Two Cognitive Tests for MS Have Different Strengths

Appl Neuropsychol Adult; ePub 2018 Apr 4; Costa, et al

The California Learning Verbal Test II (CVLT II) and the Open Trial-Selective Reminding Test (OT-SRT), used to assess learning in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS), are not equivalent tests, according to a recent comparison study. While the CVLT II appears to be sensitive to overall cognitive dysfunction, the OT-SRT is more sensitive to focal learning and memory impairments. 112 participants with MS performed both tests. All completed additional cognitive tests assessing information processing speed (IPS), working memory (WM), and executive functions (EF). All participants were identified as having impaired learning on the OT-SRT; however, only 38 participants (33.9%) were identified as having impaired learning on the CVLT II. The sample was thus divided into 2 groups, those who failed both tests (Fail-2) and those who failed only 1 (Fail-1). Researchers found:

  • The Fail-2 group showed poorer performance on EF, WM and IPS in comparison with the Fail-1 group.
  • On the CVLT II, the Fail-1 group showed a significantly greater improvement between trials 1 and 5, as compared with the Fail-2 group.


Costa SL, DeLuca J, Costanza K, Chiaravalloti ND. Comparing the open trial – Selective reminding test results with the California Learning Verbal Test II in multiple sclerosis. [Published online ahead of print April 4, 2018]. Appl Neuropsychol Adult. doi:10.1080/23279095.2018.1448818.

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