Cognitive function in Multiple Sclerosis.
Cognitive impairment occurs in 45-65% of multiple sclerosis patients. Cognitive decline is mild in 80% of cases and is more obvious in the secondary progressive form of the disease; however some patients may present predominant cognitive impairment without severe physical disability. Cognitive impairment typically involves attention, information processing speed and memory.
Cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis correlates strongly with the rate of brain volume loss; the latter is greater in most of the untreated patients compared to the healthy individuals. Studies with functional magnetic resonance imaging have shown that in the early stages of the disease, cortical reorganization provides compensation for cognitive deficits. Cognitive reserve is a protective factor against cognitive decline. Intellectual enrichment can also provide compensation for cognitive deficits, thus recent research aims to the potential benefits of cognitive rehabilitation.
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