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Cognitive Factors Linked to Activity Levels in MS Patients

August 31, 2015

A study done by the researchers at the Kessler Foundation was conducted in order to assess the cognitive factors affected in MS patients concerning mainly participation and activity in their everyday lives.

Researchers investigated the cognitive factors linked to both activity and participation in the study since cognitive impairment is frequently linked to a decline in social participation and employment. 72 patients were evaluated in terms of their cooking ability as a way to measure activity limitations as well as their employment status for use of measuring participation restriction.

By identifying the factors that are associated with the limitations experienced by MS patients, occupational therapists may be able to develop effective intervention strategies.

All 72 patients were evaluated though neuropsychological testing of memory, visual perception, processing speed and executive function. The participants also completed questionnaires that concerned affective symptoms, activity, participation and fatigue.

Cooking ability was found most closely linked to the processing speed, verbal memory and working memory, while employment status was found to be significantly associated with visual memory education level, processing speed and fatigue. Ultimately, processing speed was found to have been the only factor that was significantly related to both activity and participation.

The study concluded that processing speed appeared to be a primary cognitive factor in MS patients which could essentially have an impact on the quality of both activity and participation in a patient’s everyday life.