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In MS, Anxiety and Cognitive Fatigue May Affect Visual Memory

June 5, 2017

Anxiety and cognitive fatigue have already been associated with fatigue, impairments in processing speed, attention, and visual memory in the general multiple sclerosis (MS) population. However, new research has found that anxiety and severe cognitive fatigue may also contribute to problems with visual learning in patients with MS. According to investigators from Yeshiva University in Bronx, New York, cognitive fatigue and anxiety are common in the MS population. This research was presented at the 2017 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

Until recently, how these two factors affect visual learning in people with MS have not been studied. In the study, there were a total of 12 patients with MS who underwent a full neuropsychological evaluation. Anxiety was measured by self-report and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale while cognitive fatigue was measured by using the cognitive subscale of Fatigue Scale for Motor and Cognitive Functions. The patients also underwent the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised (BVMT). The results showed that after controlling for age and years of education, there was a significant effect of severe cognitive fatigue and anxiety on visual learning and on the BVMT trials. Overall, patients with MS who report cognitive fatigue and anxiety may struggle with visual learning, and therefore may be candidates for intervention.

Via Neurology Advisor