Polish validation of the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis (BICAMS battery): correlation of cognitive impairment with mood disorders and fatigue

Ewa Betscher, Wojiciek Guenter, Dawn Langdon, Robert Bonek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cognitive impairment is recognised as a significant clinical issue in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It can occur at any stage of the disease, affecting quality of life, occupational activity, and adherence to therapy. This makes the availability of a validated assessment tool for detecting and monitoring cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis essential. The Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis is a practical and simple means of administering a battery of three neuropsychological tests, and does not require any formal neuropsychological training. Objective: To establish the validity of BICAMS in the Polish MS population; to assess the correlations of cognitive status with demographic and clinical factors, including affective symptoms and fatigue. Methods: BICAMS was administered to 61 MS patients and 61 HC subjects. Examination of 20 participants with MS was repeated after one to three weeks to assess test-retest reliability. The patients with MS and HC subjects also completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS).Results: The MS group performed worse than the HC group in all three BICAMS components, obtaining the following values respectively: 51.7 and 56.1 (p = 0.02) for CVLT, 25 and 28 (p = 0.03) for BVMT-R, and 48.8 and 57.2 (p < 0.001) for SDMT. All BICAMS tests had very significant correlations in test-retest reliability (r = 0.83, p < 0.001 for CVLT; r = 0.84, p < 0.001 for BVMTR; r = 0.9,p < 0.001 for SDMT). 34% of MS patients presented cognitive dysfunction based on the criterion of one or more test scores below the 5th percentile value of the HC group. Significant anxiety and depressive symptoms were reported by 31.1% and 18.0%of MS patients. 31.1% of PwMS reported significant fatigue. BICAMS test results were not associated with HADS or MFIS scores.Conclusions: The Polish version of BICAMS is a valid and reliable tool for the assessment of cognitive impairment in patients with MS. Key words: multiple sclerosis, cognitive impairment, bicams, validation
Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2020

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