International Multiple Sclerosis Cognition Society

The International Multiple Sclerosis Cognition Society (IMSCOGS) promotes research about cognition in MS.
It is a point of contact and information for all researchers and health professionals interested in MS cognition.

President's Post October 2017

01 Oct 2017

Prof Ralph Benedict
Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry and Psychology Jacobs Neurological Institute, SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine Buffalo General Hospital Buffalo, New York

For the President message for this month, I wish to express my enthusiasm for the upcoming ECTRIMS meeting. From what I am able to discern from the program, we can look forward to many abstracts focused on the areas of cognition, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and rehabilitation this year. The Internal MS Cognition Society (IMSCOGS) has the honor of presenting a Teaching Course on Wednesday at 10:30. Maria Pia Amato will present on the Epidemiology of Cognitive Impairment, John Deluca will present on Current Approaches to Management, and I will have the pleasure of speaking on Cognition as an Outcome Measure in Clinical Trials with Disease Modifying Therapies. With the MSOAC endorsement of the SDMT, and an increasingly accepted responder definition, I anticipate we will be seeing this and perhaps other neuropsychological tests used increasingly as exploratory or tertiary outcomes in major phase 3 studies.

I noticed an interesting cognitive assessment article by Leigh Charvet of the Lauren Krupp group, appearing in the Online First section of MSJ. They evaluated 69 patients with pediatric onset MS (mean age 16.6 years), using the BICAMS and a Cogstate battery of processing speed tasks. On the whole, the batteries performed equally well although two Cogstate tasks were the most sensitive individual tasks in the study. While Cogstate is a computer administered test, an examiner was present and read instructions to patients. The authors replicate the finding that processing speed is a more sensitive domain than memory. I expect that there will be a lot on BICAMS and new computer administered tests at ECTRIMS.

Again, if you are not already involved with IMSOCOGS or attending the conferences, and your work has relevance for this area, I invite you to start engaging with our group.