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Percept Mot Skills. 1998 Jun;86(3 Pt 1):987-98.

Assessment of memory in multiple sclerosis patients using the Memory Assessment Scale.

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California Polytechnic State University, USA.


Previous assessment of memory function in multiple sclerosis patients has yielded mixed findings regarding the type and severity of memory deficits, which may be due to (1) differential selection of scales for memory assessment; (2) limited, inconsistent or weak reliability and validity data for the memory scales employed; (3) poor standardization techniques; (4) lack of theoretical foundation for the measure; and (5) limited control of confounding variables, e.g., education, age and the use of nonverbal memory tests. The purpose of the present study was to assess memory function in multiple sclerosis subjects using the verbal subtests of the Memory Assessment Scale, a relatively new measure designed to overcome many of the aforementioned problems. Participants included 57 patients diagnosed as relapsing-remitting, 47 diagnosed as chronic progressive (two generally recognized types of multiple sclerosis), and 132 control participants. A multivariate analysis controlling for age and verbal IQ was significant (Wilks = 5.64, p < .001). One way follow-up tests showed both groups with multiple sclerosis had significantly diminished performance across all memory variables when compared with controls, with the exception of List Clustering Acquisition. This indicated that the patients used clustering (mentally grouping similar words together) as often as controls did. These findings provide support for the presence of significant and consistent verbal memory impairment in multiple sclerosis patients and the particular importance of using psychometrically sound measures in the assessment of this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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