BICAMS suitable for measuring cognition during multiple sclerosis relapse
Use of the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis (BICAMS) is suitable for a quick assessment of patient cognition during multiple sclerosis (MS) relapse, a recent study has shown.
The study included 120 MS patients (60 with relapsing and 30 with stable disease) and 30 healthy controls. All groups were matched according to demographic and disease characteristics.
Relapsing and stable MS patients consistently had lower mean BICAMS scores than healthy controls: Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT; 40.18±11.42 and 46.60±11.54 vs 53.83±8.91; p<0.001), Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised (BVMT-R; 22.57±6.07 and 25.23±5.66 vs 29.03±4.22; p<0.001) and California Verbal Learning Test, II edition (CVLT-II; 52.02±9.61 and 54.80±9.40 vs 66.97±4.68; p<0.001).
Scores during relapse and 1 and 3 months after relapse were then compared. Scores were significantly higher 1 month after relapse (SDMT: 46.20±12.28; BVMT-R: 26.30±4.56; CVLT-II: 58.45±8.36). Only scores in the CVLT-II showed further significant improvement between 1 and 3 months.
“Assessing the results after relapse, we found that the results of all of the tests were significantly higher at 1 month after relapse than during relapse and that the results of only the verbal memory test were significantly higher at 3 months after relapse than after 1 month,” said researchers.
“Neuropsychological assessment, like physical disability assessment, is important during relapse. BICAMS may be suitable for quick and effective assessment of cognition during relapse,” they added.
For the study, MS patients were eligible for inclusion if they had not been assessed with BICAMS in the past and if they were not taking medications that may affect cognition. One-way analysis of variance was used to compare the means among the three patient groups.