Ocular motor measures of cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis I: inhibitory control

Meaghan Joy Clough, Lynette Millist, Nathaniel Lizak, Shin Chien Beh, Teresa C Frohman, Elliot Frohman, Owen B White, Joanne Fielding

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Our ability to control and inhibit behaviours that are inappropriate, unsafe, or no longer required is crucial for functioning successfully in complex environments. Here, we investigated whether a series of ocular motor (OM) inhibition tasks could dissociate deficits in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), including patients with only a probable diagnosis (clinically isolated syndrome: CIS), from healthy individuals as well as a function of increasing disease duration. 25 patients with CIS, 25 early clinically definite MS patients (CDMS: =7 years of diagnosis), 24 late CDMS patients (>7 years from diagnosis), and 25 healthy controls participated. All participants completed a series of classic OM inhibition tasks [antisaccade (AS) task, memory-guided (MG) task, endogenous cue task], and a neuropsychological inhibition task [paced auditory serial addition test (PASAT)]. Clinical disability was characterised in CDMS patients using the Expanded Disability Severity Scale (EDSS). OM (latency and error) and PASAT performance were compared between patient groups and controls, as well as a function of disease duration. For CDMS patients only, results were correlated with EDSS score. All patient groups made more errors than controls on all OM tasks; error rate did not increase with increasing disease duration. In contrast, saccade latency (MG and endogenous cue tasks) was found to worsen with increasing disease duration. PASAT performance did not discriminate patient groups or disease duration. The EDSS did not correlate with any measure. These OM measures appear to dissociate deficit between patients at different disease durations. This suggests their utility as a measure of progression from the earliest inception of the disease
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1130 - 1137
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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