While the progression of motor decline is amplified by aging in multiple sclerosis (MS), the degree of cognitive impairment does not vary across the lifespan, according to a recent study. Thus, evidence of accelerated cognitive impairment in older adults with MS may signal the presence of other age-related cognitive pathologies. In all, 698 MS patients (aged 29–71 years) and 226 healthy controls (HCs; aged 18–72 years) completed neuroperformance tests covering ambulation, upper extremity function, information processing speed, and memory. Researchers found:
- Linear regression models predicting cognitive and motor function revealed main effects of MS/HC diagnosis, age, and education across all measures.
- There was also an interaction between age and diagnosis on measures of motor function, but not on cognitive outcomes.
Roy S, Frndak S, Drake AS, et al. Differential effects of aging on motor and cognitive functioning in multiple sclerosis. [Published online ahead of print November 24, 2016]. Mult Scler J. doi:10.1177/1352458516679036.