Sunday, 9 June 2013

Education helps cognitive reserve

Epub: Scarpazza et al. Education protects against cognitive changes associated with multiple sclerosis. Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2013 Jun 4.

Purpose: Although neuropsychological impairments are common in Multiple Sclerosis (MS), the manifestation of cognitive deficits may vary greatly across MS patients. Here, we explored the influence of cognitive reserve proxy indices (education and occupation) and perceived fatigue on cognitive performance. 

Methods: Fifty relapsing-remitting MS patients were evaluated. Cognitive performance was measured using the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT), in which information processing speed can be manipulated by varying the presentation speed of stimuli. 

Results: MS patients with low education performed worse than healthy controls at faster PASAT speeds. By contrast, no difference was observed between MS patients with high education and matched healthy controls, regardless of PASAT speed. Moreover, we found that neither occupational attainment nor perceived fatigue has an influence on MS patients' cognitive performance. 

Conclusion: These findings provide evidence that higher education could be protective against MS-associated cognitive deficits and that high speed PASAT versions are more suitable for identifying compensatory capacities compared to low speed PASAT versions.

Education helps cognitive reserve. This is similar to what is found in Alzheimer's disease.


  1. Well, this wasn't in my game plan when I went to university, but I'm grateful now ...As I am for the higher literacy and communication skills which make it easier to get the right treatment from the NHS!

    1. Really? I too am educated but find that my MS team is hopeless, often ignoring requests and even forgetting essential information. For the last year my neurologist has not even wanted to see me face to face after I asked him what he's doing to help me? Now I just see the registrar. The NHS is full of useless individuals milking the system and consider themselves above accountability. It is a monster.


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