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Does Mental Stimulation Impact Cognition in MS?

Neurol Res; ePub 2017 Jul 5; Prager, Nowacki, et al

A recent study did not identify a significant impact of cognitively enriching activities on reducing cognitive impairment (CI) in multiple sclerosis (MS), suggesting that other prophylactic or therapeutic approaches should be investigated. Furthermore, a small portion of the population surveyed reported no or minimal CI, suggesting the existence of a resilient population. CI and activity levels were reported through electronic surveys completed by people with MS at the Cleveland Clinic; there were 316 survey responses. Responses were analyzed by univariable and multivariable regressions to identify factors associated with lower CI. Researchers found:

  • Use of an assistive device (β=4.09) and Internet use (β=11.9) were associated with higher reported CI, while employment correlated with reduced CI (β=−7.97).
  • None of the cognitive activities surveyed were found to reduce CI.


Prager BC, Nowacki AS, Conway DS. Survey-based assessment of the relationship between cognitive impairment and mentally stimulating activity in multiple sclerosis. [Published online ahead of print July 5, 2017]. Neurol Res. doi:10.1080/01616412.2017.1348679.