Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England) 2015 02 0621(12) 1575-82 doi 10.1177/1352458514567726
This study examined the influence of processing speed (PS) on benefit from treatment with the modified Story Memory Technique(©) (mSMT), a behavioral intervention shown to improve new learning and memory in multiple sclerosis (MS).
This double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial included 85 participants with clinically definite MS, 45 assigned to the treatment group and 40 to the placebo-control group. Participants completed baseline and follow-up neuropsychological assessment. The present study represents a post-hoc analysis to examine the role of PS on treatment efficacy.
The treatment group showed a significantly improved CVLT learning slope relative to the placebo group post-treatment, after co-varying PS performance. SDMT performance was a significant predictor of benefit from mSMT treatment, beyond group assignment. Post-hoc analysis indicated a significant correlation between the SDMT and overall cognition, indicating that the SDMT may be serving as a proxy for overall cognitive impairment.
Performance on measures of cognitive dysfunction aside from learning and memory impact the benefit of mSMT treatment. While the current study focused on PS as a critical factor, PS may be serving as a marker for generalized cognitive dysfunction. Implications for cognitive rehabilitation in MS are discussed.