Clinical Edge

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

Cognitive Fatigue Examined in Patients with MS

Mult Scler; 2018 Feb; Golan, Doniger, et al

Cognitive fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) is not independently related to objective cognitive impairment, according to a recent study. Depression may influence cognitive function of PwMS, primarily when it is severe. Therefore, cognitive impairment in PwMS should not be ascribed to fatigue or mild depression. PwMS (n=699) completed a computerized cognitive testing battery with age- and education-adjusted cognitive domain scores. Disability (Expanded Disability Status Scale [EDSS]), cognitive fatigue, and depression were concurrently evaluated. Researchers found:

  • Both cognitive fatigue and depression were significantly and negatively correlated with the same cognitive domains: information processing speed, executive function, attention, motor function, and memory.
  • Multivariate analysis revealed significant, but small, independent correlations only between depression and neuropsychological test results, while cognitive fatigue had no independent correlation with objective cognitive function except for a trend toward impaired motor function in highly-fatigued PwMS.
  • Depression and cognitive fatigue accounted for no more than 6% of the variance in objective cognitive domain scores.

Citation:

Golan D, Doniger GM, Wissemann K, et al. The impact of subjective cognitive fatigue and depression on cognitive function in patients with multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler. 2018;24(2):196-204. doi:10.1177/1352458517695470.

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