Emotional and neutral verbal memory impairment in multiple sclerosis

Cognitive impairment is a well-recognized feature of multiple sclerosis and the most affected cognitive domains are verbal memory, information processing speed and sustained attention.

This cross-sectional study aimed to assess the emotional enhancement of verbal memory (VM) in patients affected by Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS) and Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS). 22 CIS and 49 RRMS patients were analysed in comparison to 32 Healthy Controls (HC). All patients underwent a neuropsychological assessment. VM was investigated using the Selective Reminding Test (SRT) and a list of 12 emotionally significant words. Depressive symptoms were assessed through the Beck Depression Inventory.

The presence of depressive symptoms did not influence the VM performances. Both patient groups equally showed poorer VM performances in comparison to HC in all the SRT tasks. Emotionally salient words were more recalled than neutral words in HC and CIS, but not in RRMS patients.

Source: J Neurol Sci. 2014 Mar 26. pii: S0022-510X(14)00196-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2014.03.038. [Epub ahead of print]
Iaffaldano P, Viterbo RG
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