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J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2012 Jul;18(4):757-63. doi: 10.1017/S1355617712000410. Epub 2012 May 24.

Alerting network dysfunction in early multiple sclerosis.

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Department of Neurology, Raúl Carrea Institute for Neurological Research, FLENI, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The objective of this study is to assess attention in recently diagnosed relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients. Twenty-seven patients with early multiple sclerosis and low clinical disability scores (EDSS<2) and 27 sex-, age-, and education-matched healthy controls underwent attention assessment using the Attentional Network Test, a computerized task designed to measure efficiency independently in 3 attentional networks (Alerting, Orienting and Executive Control). MS patients had significantly less efficiency in the Alerting network (p = .006). In contrast, in the Orienting and Executive Control networks, they did not differ from controls. A significant interaction between Alerting and Executive Control was also found in the MS patients (p = .007). Early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis particularly affects the Alerting domain of attention, whereas the Orienting and Executive Control domains are not affected.

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