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Cognitive Impairment: RRMS v PPMS


Tuesday March 26 2013 06:04 PM

Cognitive impairment differs between primary progressive and relapsing-remitting MS

This study from France looked at the cognitive abilities of patients with primary progressive MS (PPMS) and relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) compared with healthy controls and compared the cognitive patterns of these types of MS.

In this cross sectional study, 41 PPMS patients, 60 RRMS patients and 415 healthy controls (HC) were recruited. The controls were divided into 20 groups based on age, sex and education level. A large battery of neuropsychological (NP) tests were performed on the participants including the modified version of the Brief Repeatable Battery, the Stroop test, computerised tests from the Test of Attentional Performance battery, the numerical span test and the Rey Complex Figure.

They found that patients with PPMS performed worse than matched HC. Patients with PPMS presented with a wide range of cognitive deficits in information processing speed, attention, working memory, executive function and verbal episodic memory. Patients with RRMS performed worse than matched controls on a computerised digit-symbol substitution task and alertness test, reaction time for visual scanning, and Paced-Auditory Serial Addition Test-3 seconds. Therefore the impairment in patients with RRMS was limited to information processing speed and working memory.

Overall this shows that patients with PPMS had worse NP scores and were more impaired in cognitive domains than patients with RRMS.

Source: Neurology. 2013 Mar 20. [Epub ahead of print]

Read the abstract on PubMed

How Does cognitive impairment effect you?

Provide your comments below.

Author: Ruet A, Deloire M, Charré-Morin J,

Tags: cognitiveimpairment, primary-progressive, relapsing-remitting



Wednesday March 27 2013 15:31

Stress! I cannot tolerate interruption when trying to complete tasks, such as filling forms or packing where concentration is of primary importance. Letting a lot of stuff go on "the long finger" rather than sitting down and getting things sorted. Often I cannot decide what to do next & feel like I'm going stupid. 12 years ago when I mentioned all this to my then Neuro, he denied that it had anything to do with cognitive function, rather having to do with possible depression after being diagnosed with MS. SPMS/PPMS (no-one seems sure which).


Thursday March 28 2013 20:59

I have very slowly progressing PPMS which I have had for 26 years. Physically I'm quite well but I too find I get stressed very easily especially when concentration is required.I put off filling formsand as much as possible and packing for holidays totally stresses me out!! I also find making decisions very very difficult .I often cant decide what to wear when going out and get very stressed about it. I find it so difficult to explain this to family and friends.


Monday April 01 2013 15:43

I can fell like you! I have the MS 12 years since my 15,5. Every year I feel a little bit down: mentally, conentration, rememberance, also I have anxiety attaks and stress sometimes without significant reason. I don' t want to become a junky with drugs, so I have found a solution: I Pray a lot and relaxing thinking and expecting God' s Kingdom!


Sunday April 21 2013 15:24

I was diagnosed in 2009. I went through many relapses in the first 6 months after diagnosis and was put on Tysabri. I am still recovering, but I find the cognitive issues the most upsetting - forgetting names, places, situations, even after getting people to repeat themselves. I am seeing a psychotherapist who has done a series of tests on me, getting the results this Tuesday (can't wait!!!)


Wednesday April 24 2013 13:35

Joanne, I have a very similar story to yourself, I too am on Tysabri, I was diagnosed 2 years ago with RRMS and after many relapses, two happened in very quick succession which floored me. I now seem to be left with the exact same cognitive issues as you, which I too find upsetting & frustrating. I'd be very interested to hear how you got on with your test results, and did you learn anything you didn't already know?


Wednesday April 24 2013 19:04

I have PPMS 25yrs. Yes I have suffered all usual symptoms, stress, decision making WHAO, depression, etc. I found keeping mind busy by reading, doing puzzles, memory tests and so on, Also relaxing and live in the moment. Use the net to help.


Thursday April 25 2013 13:03

Hi, I was diagnosed in 2003...(Rebif + drugs)
Major problems in filing forms (random errors in reading numerics and letters)
I make lists for every day things and still keep putting things off. This depresses me as I have always liked things up-to-date (tax, insurance documents, ironing etc )
I am quite heavily drugged (facial pain and brain spasms controlled usually) and sleep or rest a lot. I am not working now and find every thing I need to do takes a very long time. I did Luminosity esp for peripheral vision, very basic maths and word formation. Then I seemed to have kind of brain 'fog' so reduced and cut out brain games. I do Suduko, Codewords, and card games avoid speech and do minimum physio for core strenght now and living comfortably.

Anne - Marie Hesselden

Friday April 26 2013 08:27

Diagnosed May 2011, lesions and positive lumbar puncture, No drugs as I "only" presented with Limp, headaches and cognitive which i was told were not part of MS!!!!! Memory, processing ie filling out or reading forms/books were very difficult, putting sentences back to front, using or not finding correct words, stammering. But was told to go home carry on with life, no treatment offered. Attack lasted best part of a year, improved alot now, back at work, brain "fog" gone,,, for now.

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