Brain functions and the unemployed

van der Hiele K, van Gorp D, Ruimschotel R, Kamminga N, Visser L, Middelkoop H.Work Participation and Executive Abilities in Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.
PLoS One. 2015 ;10(6):e0129228

The majority of patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) are unable to retain employment within 10 years from disease onset. Executive abilities, such as planning, working memory, attention, problem solving, inhibition and mental flexibility may have a direct impact on the ability to maintain a job. This study investigated differences in subjective and objective executive abilities between relapsing-remitting MS patients with and without a paid job. We included 55 relapsing-remitting MS patients from a community-based sample (47 females; mean age: 47 years; 36% employed). Patients underwent neurological, cognitive and psychological assessments at their homes, including an extensive executive test battery. We found that unemployed patients had a longer disease duration (t(53)=2.76, p=0.008) and reported more organising and planning problems (χ2(1)=6.3, p=0.012), higher distractibility (Kendall's tau-b= -0.24, p=0.03) and more cognitive fatigue (U=205.0, p=0.028, r=-0.30) than employed patients. Unemployed patients completed slightly less categories on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (U=243.5, p=0.042, r=-0.28). Possible influential factors such as age, educational level, physical functioning, depression and anxiety did not differ between groups. In conclusion, while relapsing-remitting MS patients without a paid job reported more executive problems and cognitive fatigue than patients with a paid job, little differences were found in objective executive abilities. 

This is saying what we have heard before an know already that that MS can affect cognitive functions as well as movement problems and this can impact on your ability to work

Labels: ,