Preliminary Evidence For The Effects Of Aging And Multiple Sclerosis On Cognitive Performance: An Analysis Based On Effect Size Estimates

Rachel E. Bollaert, Julia M. Balto, Brian M. Sandroff, Gioella Chaparro, Manuel E. Hernandez, Robert W. Motl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background/Study Context: Although cognitive impairment is common in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS), there are limited data on older adults with MS. The current pilot study involved a preliminary examination of cognitive impairments across a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment in older adults with MS compared with older adults without MS. Methods: Twenty older adults with MS and 20 older adults without MS (≥60 years of age) underwent cognitive assessments, including the Trail Making Test (TMT) and the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS). The primary analytical model involved independent-samples t tests on the TMT and RBANS scores. The analysis focused on ½ SD (i.e., Cohen’s d of 0.5) for judging the differences as meaningful. Results: Overall, the study hypotheses were supported such that older adults with MS demonstrated decreased cognitive performance that exceeded ½ SD compared with the older adults without MS. Conclusion: This preliminary study demonstrated moderate and meaningful differences in cognitive performance in older adults with MS compared with older adults without MS. This suggests a clear need for identifying strategies for alleviating cognitive impairment in older adults with MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-354
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Aging Research
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 8 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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