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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cognitive Impairment in Multiple Sclerosis - A Forgotten Disability Remembered



Cognitive Impairment in MS: An Overview
Although Jean-Martin Charcot is credited with providing a comprehensive description of MS, reports of both MS and comorbid cognitive impairment precede Charcot’s 1868 lectures. Dr. Friedrich von Frerichs first cited MS-related cognitive impairment in 1849, 25 years after the disease’s initial clinical description. Despite multiple early accounts of MS as a disease affecting cognition, reports on the incidence of cognitive impairment in patients with MS were mixed over the following century. While some late 19th and early 20th century physicians recognized deterioration of cognitive faculties in more than half of their MS patients, others reported that only two percent of their patients with MS experienced blunted intellectual function.[1]1 Discrepancies in these figures are probably due to the fact that the majority of neurologists did not ask patients with MS about their cognitive function, and those neurologists who did inquire had inconsistent means of measuring cognitive function.

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