Relation of Cognition to Cerebellar Function in Multiple Sclerosis. / Cahill, Jack.


Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis




Cerebellar signs and cognitive dysfunction often occur in parallel in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RR-MS). Motor planning is thought to be one area of cognition susceptible to damage but also a surrogate of cerebellar integrity. Therefore, the objective was to investigate the longitudinal relation of cognition to cerebellar function in RR-MS and how changes relate to motor planning and function.
A total of 11 RR-MS patients with cerebellar symptomatology (RR-MSc: 5 males, x̅ age: 41), 17 RR-MS patients without cerebellar symptomatology (RR-MSnc: 2 males, x̅ age: 40.94) and 9 matched control participants (HC: 2 males, x̅ age: 37.78) completed the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for MS (BICAMS), the Nine-hole Peg Test (NHPT) and the Grooved Pegboard Test (GPT) at baseline and at 12 months. The GPT - NHPT difference was used to compute a Motor Planning index (MPI), the NHPT serving as a control for sensorimotor impairment.
Mixed ANOVA revealed a consistent significant group separation on all cognitive and motor tests other than visual memory that was maintained over the follow-up period. There was a significant effect of time for the visual and verbal memory suggestive of learning. There were no significant interactions between group and time. Post hoc tests showed the RR-MSc group was significantly outperformed in tests of cognition, motor function and motor planning by both RR-MSc and HC. There was a significant correlation between measures of information processing speed and MPI.
RR-MSc were characterised by greater impairment on tests of cognition, motor function and motor planning than the RR-MSc. These differences were maintained over a year. The association of the MPI and SDMT indicates information processing speed may act as a moderator of motor planning. The next step is to validate the MPI with an MRI study exploring how it relates to cerebellar lesion load and atrophy.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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