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Mult Scler. 2007 Apr;13(3):402-11. Epub 2007 Jan 29.

The Faces Symbol Test, a newly developed screening instrument to assess cognitive decline related to multiple sclerosis: first results of the Berlin Multi-Centre FST Validation Study.

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1
Kantstr. 125, D-10625 Berlin, Germany. schererpw@berlin. sireco. net

Abstract

Reliable, language-independent, short screening instruments to test for cognitive function in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) remain rare, despite the high number of patients affected by cognitive decline. We developed a new, short screening instrument, the Faces Symbol Test (FST), and compared its diagnostic test characteristics with a composite of the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST) and the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT), in 108 MS patients and 33 healthy controls. An Informant-Report Questionnaire, a Self-Report Questionnaire, and a neurologist's estimation of the Every Day Life Cognitive Status were also applied to the MS patients. The statistical analyses comprised of a receiver operating characteristic analysis for test accuracy and for confounding variables. The PASAT and DSST composite score estimated that 36.5% of the MS patients had cognitive impairment. The FST estimated that 40.7% of the MS patients were cognitively impaired (sensitivity 84%; specificity 85%). The FST, DSST and PASAT results were significantly correlated with the patients' physical impairment, as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). The results suggest that the FST might be a culture-free, sensitive, and practical short screening instrument for the detection of cognitive decline in patients with MS, including those in the early stages.

PMID:
17439910
DOI:
10.1177/1352458506069674
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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