April 1997

Multiple Sclerosis Screening Examinations

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center PO Box 26901 Oklahoma City, OK 73190

Arch Neurol. 1997;54(4):352. doi:10.1001/archneur.1997.00550160008006

Basso et al1 recently described a brief screening examination to detect probable cognitive impairment in patients with multiple sclerosis. In their literature review they fail to note our earlier report2 of the Screening Examination for Cognitive Impairment (SEFCI), a short battery with a similar purpose. Both instruments include measures of verbal memory, concentration, and information processing speed. The batteries differ in that the SEFCI includes tests of vocabulary and verbal abstraction while the test devised by Basso et al includes measures of graphesthesia and stereognosis. This latter difference in the composition of the screening batteries may explain why Basso et al found an association of cognitive impairment with disability status and we did not.

Both screening examinations appear to possess high and comparable sensitivity and specificity for detecting patients with multiple sclerosis who are good candidates for more comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation. Both examinations require about 30 to 40

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