Research: cognition problems in young MSers

Epub: Kraemer M et al. Perception of affective prosody in patients at an early stage of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. J Neuropsychol. 2012 Nov 5. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-6653.2012.02037.x. 

Background: Cognitive dysfunction is well known in MSers and has been described for many years. Cognitive impairment, memory, and attention deficits seem to be features of advanced MS stages, whereas depression and emotional instability already occur in early stages of the disease. However, little is known about processing of affective prosody in MSers in early stages of RRMS. 

“Prosody is the rhythm, stress, and intonation of speech.”

Methods: In this study, tests assessing attention, memory, and processing of affective prosody were administered to 25 adult MSers with a diagnosis of RRMS at an early stage and to 25 healthy controls (HC). Early stages of the disease were defined as being diagnosed with RRMS in the last 2 years and having an EDSS of 2 or lower. MSers and HC were comparable in intelligence quotient (IQ), educational level, age, handedness, and gender. 

Results: MSers with early stages of RRMS performed below the control group with respect to the subtests ‘discrimination of affective prosody’ and ‘matching of affective prosody to facial expression’ for the emotion ‘angry’ of the ‘Tübingen Affect Battery’. These deficits were not related to executive performance. 

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that emotional prosody comprehension is deficient in young MSers with early stages of RRMS. Deficits in discriminating affective prosody early in the disease may make misunderstandings and poor communication more likely. This might negatively influence interpersonal relationships and quality of life in MSers with RRMS. 


“Yet another study on the impact of MS on cognition; only this time it is in early MS!”

Other posts of interest in relation to cognition:

02 Nov 2012
Background: Cognitive dysfunction affects half of MSers. Although brain atrophy generally yields the most robust MRI correlations with cognition, significant variance in cognition between individual MSers remains unexplained 
29 Jul 2012
“I personally believe there is a time when all MSers need to know about the potential impact MS has can have on their lives and this includes the effect on cognition. Why? This information may help you when making a 
30 Sep 2012
Understanding the exact relationship between atrophy and cognition requires further investigation. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between subcortical GM atrophy and cognition in early relapsing 
18 May 2012
Background: Cognitive impairment may result in significant disability in MSers. Previous MRI studies on cognition in MS were mainly based on measures of gross brain involvement. This study, using voxel-based morphometry 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: