3 November 2022
Remote Web-based Assessment of Cognition, Mood and Fatigue in People with Multiple Sclerosis
This poster was presented at ECTRIMS in October 2022.
Cognitive dysfunction is a common and debilitating but often overlooked aspect of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Traditional in-clinic visits are often short and infrequent, meaning there is a need for practical and sensitive home-based assessments for people with MS that could help to enhance monitoring of cognitive decline. Traditional paper-and-pencil tasks are often time-consuming, require specialist resources and a trained rater to administer, score and interpret. This study aimed to demonstrate that web-based computerized assessments can be used to accurately and remotely assess a wide range of cognitive domains known to be adversely affected in people with MS.
Data was collected online using Cambridge Cognition’s secure web-based testing application and the participant recruitment platform Prolific. 102 participants were recruited. Participants undertook questionnaires assessing mood (PHQ9), fatigue (MFIS) and level of physical disability (PDDS). They also completed a battery of computerized CANTABTM cognitive assessments, measuring episodic memory (Paired Associates Learning task), working memory and executive function (Spatial Working Memory task) and social cognitive (Emotion Recognition Task).
The results showed that at the group-level, MS patients performed similarly to matched controls from the general population in normative comparisons of participants’ cognitive test scores. However, individual participant profiles suggested substantial heterogeneity across cognitive domains within and between individuals with MS, with many participants showing significant levels of impairment. This study showed that web-based CANTABTM cognitive assessments can be used to remotely assess cognitive function in MS.