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Frequency of cognitive impairment dramatically increases during the first 5 years of multiple sclerosis
  1. Françoise Reuter1,2,
  2. Wafaa Zaaraoui2,
  3. Lydie Crespy1,2,
  4. Anthony Faivre2,
  5. Audrey Rico1,2,
  6. Irina Malikova1,2,
  7. Elisabeth Soulier2,
  8. Patrick Viout2,
  9. Jean-Philippe Ranjeva2,
  10. Jean Pelletier1,2,
  11. Bertrand Audoin1,2
  1. 1Pôle de Neurosciences cliniques, Service de Neurologie, Assistance publique Hôpitaux de Marseille, CHU Timone, Marseille, France
  2. 2Centre de Résonance Magnétique Biologique et Médicale (CRMBM) UMR CNRS 6612, Faculté de Médecine, Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France
  1. Correspondence to Miss Françoise Reuter, CRMBM UMR 6612, Faculté de Médecine, 27 bd Jean Moulin 13385 Marseille, France; francoise.reuter{at}


Previous studies have demonstrated that cognitive impairment is already present in patients suffering from a clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) suggestive of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, little is known about the course of cognitive impairment after the occurrence of a CIS. In order to characterise the early evolution of cognitive impairment, the authors assessed during a 5-year follow-up period a group of 24 CIS patients with high risk of developing MS. Longitudinal neuropsychological assessment was performed at two time points (baseline and year 5) in patients and controls (baseline and year 1). At year 5, 54% of patients showed cognitive impairment against 29% at baseline. Multiple regression models showed that patients with a higher T2 lesion load at baseline had a higher cognitive impairment at year 5. This longitudinal study performed in CIS patients showed that the frequency of cognitive impairment increases dramatically during the first 5 years following a CIS and that the cognitive status at year 5 was predictable by conventional MRI parameters recorded at baseline.

  • Clinically isolated syndrome
  • cognitive impairment
  • multiple sclerosis
  • longitudinal follow-up
  • neuropsychology

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  • Funding This study was supported by grants from the Association pour la Recherche sur la Sclérose En Plaques (ARSEP), CNRS and Merck Serono France.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Timone Hospital, Marseille, France.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.