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Multiple sclerosis: Cognition linked with limited activity, participation

Processing speed is common variable in limited activity, loss of employment in people with MS

Date:
August 21, 2015
Source:
Kessler Foundation
Summary:
Processing speed is the primary limiting factor associated with activity and participation in everyday life among people with multiple sclerosis (MS), research has found. This is the first such study of cognition and measures of activity and participation in MS.
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Kessler Foundation researchers found that processing speed is the primary limiting factor associated with activity and participation in everyday life among people with multiple sclerosis (MS). "Factors that moderate activity limitation and participation restriction in people with multiple sclerosis" was published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. This is the first MS study of cognition and measures of activity and participation. The authors are Yael Goverover, PhD, of New York University and visiting professor at Kessler Foundation, and Lauren Strober, PhD, Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, and John DeLuca, PhD, of Kessler Foundation.

MS, the leading cause of disability in working age adults, has a substantial negative impact on quality of life. The employment rate declines from 90% to 20% to 30% within five years of diagnosis, and only 35% of individuals with documented MS report normal social and lifestyle activities. Identifying modifiable factors associated with these limitations may help occupational therapists develop effective interventions. Because cognitive impairments are often implicated in declines in social participation and employment, researchers examined cognitive factors associated with both activity and participation. The study, which included 72 individuals with MS, focused on cooking ability for activity and employment status for participation. Assessment included neuropsychological testing of memory, executive function, visual perception, and processing speed, and questionnaires about fatigue, affective symptoms, activity and participation.

"The only variable significantly related to activity and participation was processing speed, "noted Dr. Goverover. "For occupational therapists, this means that implementing strategies that improve processing speed may help people with MS maintain their daily activities and stay in the workplace. In light of the close association between cognitive factors and cooking, providers should be aware that decline in cooking skills may be sign of cognitive decline in MS."


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Materials provided by Kessler Foundation. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yael Goverover, Lauren Strober, Nancy Chiaravalloti, John DeLuca. Factors That Moderate Activity Limitation and Participation Restriction in People With Multiple Sclerosis. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2015; 69 (2): 6902260020p1 DOI: 10.5014/ajot.2015.014332

Cite This Page:

Kessler Foundation. "Multiple sclerosis: Cognition linked with limited activity, participation: Processing speed is common variable in limited activity, loss of employment in people with MS." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150821111045.htm>.
Kessler Foundation. (2015, August 21). Multiple sclerosis: Cognition linked with limited activity, participation: Processing speed is common variable in limited activity, loss of employment in people with MS. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150821111045.htm
Kessler Foundation. "Multiple sclerosis: Cognition linked with limited activity, participation: Processing speed is common variable in limited activity, loss of employment in people with MS." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150821111045.htm (accessed May 26, 2017).

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