Authors: ERDİL ARSOY, ERDEM TÜZÜN, RECAİ TÜRKOĞLU
Abstract: Background/aim: Benign multiple sclerosis (BMS) patients display preserved somatic neurological functions but nevertheless may develop cognitive dysfunction. Our aim was to explore the impact of computer-assisted cognitive rehabilitation (CCR) on cognitive functions of BMS patients. Materials and methods: Age- and sex-matched BMS patients (n = 21), non-BMS patients (n = 22), and healthy individuals (n = 38) were recruited for evaluation of cognitive functions. CCR was administered to 10 BMS patients and a panel of neuropsychological tests were employed at baseline and 6 months. CCR was based on mental exercise software containing attention, memory, reasoning, visual, and verbal task modules. Results: BMS and non-BMS patients showed impaired selective reminding, spatial recall, symbol digit modalities (SDMTs), controlled oral word association (COWAT), paced auditory serial addition-3 (PASAT-3), and Stroop tests. Timed 25-foot walk and 9-hole peg test results of BMS patients were comparable to those of healthy controls. BMS patients with CCR showed significantly improved SDMTs, COWAT, and Stroop test results compared to those without CCR. Conclusion: Several cognitive domains including memory and executive functions are impaired in BMS patients. CCR has an ameliorating impact particularly on sustained attention, information processing speed, verbal fluency, categorical reasoning, and executive functions of BMS patients.
Keywords: Benign multiple sclerosis, computer-assisted cognitive rehabilitation, memory, sustained attention, executive functions
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