Imaged parent items

Visual-cognitive processing deficits in pediatric multiple sclerosis.

Multiple Sclerosis, 2011 April;17(4):449-456

Background: Children with multiple sclerosis (MS) can suffer significant cognitive deficits. This study investigates the sensitivity and validity in pediatric MS of two visual processing tests borrowed from the adult literature, the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised (BVMTR) and the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT).

Objective: To test the hypothesis that visual processing is disproportionately impacted in pediatric MS by comparing performance with that of healthy controls on the BVMTR and SDMT.

Methods: We studied 88 participants (43 MS, 45 controls) using a neuropsychological assessment battery including measures of intelligence, language, visual memory, and processing speed. Patients and demographically matched controls were compared to determine which tests are most sensitive in pediatric MS.

Results: Statistically significant differences were found between the MS and control groups on BVMTR Total Learning (t (84) = 4.04, p < 0.001, d = 0.87), BVMTR Delayed Recall (t (84) = 4.45, p < 0.001, d = 0.96), and SDMT (t (38) = 2.19, p = 0.035, d = 0.69). No significant differences were found between groups on confrontation naming or general intellectual ability. Validity coefficients exploring correlation between BVMTR, SDMT, and disease characteristics were consistent with the adult literature.

Conclusions: This study found that BVMTR and SDMT may be useful in assessing children and adolescents with MS.