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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 117-125

Impairment in working memory in multiple sclerosis

1 Department of Neuropsychiatry, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
2 Department of Radiology, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Osama Abourelmaged El-Kholy
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Alexandria University, 724 Elhoria St. Loran, Alexandria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.7123/01.EJP.0000414294.51794.7d

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The aim of the current study was to assess the relation between working memory dysfunction and clinical and MRI findings in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.

Participants and methods

This study was conducted on 50 patients with clinically definite relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, they were recruited from the Outpatient Clinic of Alexandria University Hospitals; and 25 healthy controls matched for age, sex, and educational level. All participants were subjected to neuropsychological assessment that included: digit span, visual span, N-nack task, and Wisconsin card sorting test. The patient group was further subjected to: Expanded disability status scale (EDSS) and brain MRI.


Clinically, the present study found no statistically significant correlations between working memory dysfunction and age, age at onset, sex, number of relapses, affected functional system, or EDSS status. Alternatively, there were statistically significant positive correlations between working memory dysfunction and the duration of illness.


This study suggests that according to the resources utilized by cognitive tasks, working memory tasks may be classified into high-demanding working memory tasks (2-back task and WCST) and low-demanding working memory tasks (1-back task and digit and visual span), and in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis working memory dysfunction includes mainly high-demanding working memory tasks.

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