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BMC Neurol. 2015 Apr 23;15:61. doi: 10.1186/s12883-015-0318-0.

Decision-making under explicit risk is impaired in multiple sclerosis: relationships with ventricular width and disease disability.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, 1E1.01 WCM Health Sciences Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2R7, Canada. adr2@ualberta.ca.
2
Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, 1E1.01 WCM Health Sciences Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2R7, Canada. chris.power@ualberta.ca.
3
Department of Medicine (Neurology), University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. chris.power@ualberta.ca.
4
Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, 1E1.01 WCM Health Sciences Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2R7, Canada. scot.purdon@albertahealthservices.ca.
5
Neuropsychology Service, Alberta Hospital Edmonton, Edmonton, Canada. scot.purdon@albertahealthservices.ca.
6
Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. demery@ualberta.ca.
7
Department of Medicine (Neurology), University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. gregg.blevins@ualberta.ca.
8
Department of Medicine (Neurology), University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. swarren@ualberta.ca.
9
Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, 1E1.01 WCM Health Sciences Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2R7, Canada. efujiwara@ualberta.ca.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Decision-making is an essential function of everyday life. Decision-making under explicit risk requires developing advantageous decision strategies based on fixed outcomes (e.g., probabilities of winning or losing a bet). Decision-making and its neural substrates have been rarely studied in MS. We expected performance in decision-making under risk to be lowered in MS patients, and negatively correlated with disease-related disability, cognition, and ventricular width.

METHODS:

Three groups were included: 32 MS patients and 20 healthy controls were examined with conventional neuropsychological tests and the Game-of-Dice Task (GDT) assessing decision-making under explicit risk. Linear 2-D ventricular width was assessed on MS patients' clinical MRIs and compared to a third group, 20 non-MS neurological control patients.

RESULTS:

Compared to healthy controls, MS patients showed impaired GDT and neuropsychological performance, depending on the MS-subtype (relapsing-remitting (RR), n = 22; secondary progressive, n = 10) and disability severity among RR-MS patients. In MS patients, GDT performance correlated with processing speed, intercaudate ratio, and third ventricle ratio (p's < 0.05). Mediation analysis showed that the link between GDT performance and processing speed was fully explained by ventricular size.

CONCLUSION:

Decision-making under explicit risk was reduced in MS patients, but only those with more pronounced disability. Independent of processing speed, decision-making under explicit risk correlates inversely with central atrophy in MS.

PMID:
25899600
PMCID:
PMC4428249
DOI:
10.1186/s12883-015-0318-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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