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Dice Throwing Test Shows Disability in MS Patients

August 19, 2015

According to a new study from the University of Alberta, researchers have found that patients with multiple sclerosis have impaired decision-making abilities. It was found to be most common as the disease progresses into the later stages.

The study was conducted by using the game of dice task, which was developed by Ashley Radomski in order to determine the abilities MS patients’ to assess risk. The task challenged it’s participants to evaluate the risks of throwing dice by selecting a combination of one, two, three or four digits as a prediction of what each roll’s outcome would be. Participants were given the choice to make a less risky decision by choosing more numbers for the combination, but this meant lower rewards for a correct guess.

The game of dice task was part of a two-hour standardized neuropsychological test that was given to evaluate the participant’s working and verbal memory, motor function and visual-spatial abilities.

Results that were discovered in the study showed that patients who were in their later stages of MS had more decision making disabilities than those with less severe MS. In order to aid these MS patients, it was noted that the patients or their family members might find it useful to keep a journal. It would be used to keep track of their decision-making patterns over time, which should then be shared and discussed with the patient’s physician or their neurologist for a full assessment.

 

From the evidence that was found as a result of this task, it makes it possible to provide optimal guidance and support when making complex decisions for those that are suffering in their later-stages of MS.