How is cognitive dysfunction characterized in multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Updated: Oct 08, 2019
  • Author: Christopher Luzzio, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

The estimated prevalence of cognitive dysfunction in MS ranges from 40–70%. No correlation exists with the degree of physical disability, and cognitive dysfunction may occur early in the course of disease. This complication of MS can be a significant problem, affecting family and social relationships, as well as employment. Areas of cognition affected may include any of the following:

  • Comprehension and use of speech

  • Attention

  • Memory

  • Visual perception

  • Planning

  • Problem solving

  • Executive function (ability to correctly follow sequential steps)

  • Abstract reasoning


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