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June 1988

Multiple Memory Deficits in Patients With Multiple SclerosisExploring the Working Memory System

Author Affiliations

From the Experimental Therapeutics (Dr Litvan) and Medical Neurology (Dr Grafman) Branches, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md; and the Department of Neurology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain (Drs P. Vendrell, Martinez, Junqué, J. M. Vendrell, and Barraquer-Bordas).

Arch Neurol. 1988;45(6):607-610. doi:10.1001/archneur.1988.00520300025012

• Some patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) demonstrate impaired memory. A group of 16 patients with MS who were mildly to moderately affected (Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale Score = 3.8) were studied, and they were compared with a matched control group on tests of "working memory." The working memory system was explored by evaluating the amount of information that can temporarily be held in a buffer system during encoding. Results indicated that patients with MS have difficulty in processing information at the level of a hypothesized articulatory loop in working memory. This deficit was correlated with their retrieval of verbal information from long-term memory, as well as how accurately they processed verbal information presented at a rapid rate. There was no significant relationship between ratings of MS severity or number of plaques visualized on magnetic resonance imaging scans and the degree of working memory deficit.