Abstract

Background: Cognitive dysfunction is prevalent in multiple sclerosis (MS) and can have a negative effect on several aspects of the daily lives of persons with MS. In 2010, members of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) were surveyed to understand MS clinicians’ screening, assessment, and treatment practices for cognitive problems. Given the advancements made in the field in the past decade, it was deemed time to reevaluate how cognitive dysfunction is managed in the clinical setting.

Methods: An online questionnaire was completed by 56 CMSC members in which they were asked to describe their clinical practices, procedures for screening and further evaluation, and treatment recommendations for cognitive dysfunction. Participants were also asked whether their practice had changed in terms of the number of cognitive screenings, prescriptions for cognitive problems, and referrals for neuropsychological assessment and cognitive remediation in the past 5 years to allow for clinicians who had not been in practice for 10 years.

Results: Participants reported an increase in the number of cognitive screenings and referrals for neuropsychological assessments and cognitive remediation during the past 5 years. Compared with 2010, participants endorsed greater use of person-administered screening measures, such as the Symbol Digit Modalities Test, and fewer prescriptions for medications to improve cognitive functioning.

Conclusions: Clinical practices are becoming more in line with the literature, with increased use of cognitive screening and remediation. Continued attention to cognitive problems will be an ongoing important component of MS-related care.

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