Neuropsychology of multiple sclerosis: Looking back and moving forward

Ralph H. B. Benedict, John DeLuca, Christian Enzinger, Jeroen J. G. Geurts, Lauren B. Krupp, Stephen M. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


The neuropsychological aspects of multiple sclerosis (MS) have evolved over the past three decades. What was once thought to be a rare occurrence, cognitive dysfunction is now viewed as one of the most disabling symptoms of the disease, with devastating effects on patients' quality of life. This selective review will highlight major innovations and scientific discoveries in the areas of neuropathology, neuroimaging, diagnosis, and treatment that pertain to our understanding of the neuropsychological aspects of MS. Specifically, we focus on the recent discovery that MS produces pathogical lesions of gray matter (GM) that have consequences for cognitive functions. Methods for imaging these GM lesions in MS are discussed along with multimodal imaging studies that integrate structural and functional imaging methods to provide a better understanding of the relationship between cognitive test performance and functional reserve. Innovations in the screening and comprehensive assessment of cognitive disorders are presented along with recent research that examines cognitive dysfunction in pediatric MS. Results of innovative outcome studies in cognitive rehabilitation are discussed. Finally, we highlight trends for potential future innovations over the next decade.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)832-842
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number9-10 Special Issue
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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