Psychiatric Symptoms in Multiple Sclerosis and Their Association with Cognitive Impairment and Personality
Hoogs, Marietta M.
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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory and degenerative disease of the central nervous system. In addition to a variable and broad range of physical signs and symptoms, neuropsychological impairment is common in MS and includes cognitive impairment, and disorders of mood and affect. Despite the prevalence of both cognitive and psychiatric symptoms in MS there have been few investigations into the relationships between these symptoms. The primary objective of this study was to expand on previous research exploring the relationships among cognitive, personality, and psychiatric functioning in patients with MS. The results of this study show significant associations between self- and informant-rated personality traits and neuropsychiatric syndromes in patients with MS, and to a lesser degree, associations with cognition. The primary finding of this study, however, is that executive function at least partially mediates the relationship between disease severity and psychiatric symptoms associated with frontal lobe dysfunction, including disinhibition, agitation, irritability, and euphoria. A model whereby processing speed/working memory were hypothesized to mediate the relationship between MS severity and depression/apathy was not significant.