Previous studies have consistently demonstrated impairments in conceptual reasoning and set-shifting abilities in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Other executive functions have been less frequently examined. We compared 44 MS patients and 48 demographically matched controls on a temporal-ordering and semantic-encoding task and on a test of planning (Tower of Hanoi). Compared with controls, MS patients experienced deficient semantic encoding and planning but unimpaired temporal-order memory. For both tasks, post hoc analyses indicated that chronic-progressive MS patients contributed most to the group differences. A combination of poor planning and slowed information-processing speed was hypothesized to have contributed to MS patients' impaired Tower of Hanoi performance. Further research is needed to explore the possible relationship between semantic-encoding and planning deficits in MS and social and occupational disabilities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology