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Neurol India. 2020 Jan-Feb;68(1):94-98. doi: 10.4103/0028-3886.279700.

Social Cognition Impairments in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: Comparison with Grade of Disability.

Author information

1
Multiprofile Hospital for Active Treatment "National Cardiology Hospital", Clinic of Neurology, Sofia, Bulgaria.
2
Department of Neurosurgery, "St. Ivan Rilski" University Hospital, Clinic of Neurosurgery, Sofia, Bulgaria.
3
Department of Bioinformatics and Mathematical Modelling, Institute of Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Abstract

Objectives:

Social cognitive impairments are an essential aspect of general disability in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). They can manifest independently or in addition to physical deficits.

Aim:

To examine the impairment of social cognition and its potential relationship with the grade of disability in MS patients.

Settings and Design:

Our study included 17 healthy controls and 36 patients with clinically definite MS (relapsing-remittent form) according to the McDonald Criteria (2010). The patients were divided into two groups - patients with Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) <3.5 (N = 18) and those with EDSS ≥3.5 (N = 18). The neuropsychological battery included empathy assessment (Self-Compassion, "Reading the Mind") and theory of mind tests - ToM (Faux pas, cartoons).

Results:

We did not register a change in self-assessment empathy in MS. Reading the Mind in Eye test showed a clear tendency for deterioration with increasing physical disability. The statistically significant difference (P < 0.05) between the results of controls and patients with EDSS ≥3.5 was registered. The tests for interpreting stories perceived in an auditory manner ("faux pas") showed a clear trend toward "failure" among patients (P < 0.05). The results of patients with high disability in ToM cartoons task were statistically worse (P < 0.01) both in comparison to those of controls and patients with EDSS <3.5.

Conclusion:

Our study found that, during the course of MS, deterioration of both social cognitive skills and basic cognitive abilities occurs, which is parallel to physical disability.

KEYWORDS:

Expanded Disability Status Scale; grade of disability; multiple sclerosis; social cognition

PMID:
32129254
DOI:
10.4103/0028-3886.279700

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