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June 1984

Memory Disturbance in Chronic Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Arch Neurol. 1984;41(6):625-631. doi:10.1001/archneur.1984.04210080033010

• Forty-four patients with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) were compared with age- and education-matched control groups on a battery of clinical and experimental memory measures. Patients with MS performed substantially below the control groups on both immediate learning and delayed recall tasks, particularly in the retrieval of spatial information. The MS sample was subdivided into three groups using a cluster analytic procedure. One group (N = 9) performed well below expectations on memory tasks, exhibited signs of global cognitive disturbance, and had an atypical personality adjustment, characterized by irritability, social withdrawal, and apathy. A second group (N = 19) showed mild memory disturbance, associated with a greater use of psychotropic medications and a higher incidence of reactive depression. A third group (N = 16) performed normally on memory measures. The three groups of patients with MS did not differ in length or overall severity of illness.