Cognitive Impairment Experienced During Multiple Sclerosis Relapses | MS Research Studies - MS Society of Canada


Study Title: Cognitive Impairment Experienced During Multiple Sclerosis Relapses
Study Description: MS relapses typically are characterized by new symptoms, lasting for at least 24 hours, due to inflammation in a new area of the brain. This study wants to determine how cognition, which is your ability to learn, think and remember things, is affected when individuals experience an MS relapse. Cognitive impairment due to a relapse may not be as readily identified as physical effects of a relapse, but can be identified by cognitive testing measures. Cognitive testing involves the use of simple tasks to assess a wide range of mental abilities, including attention, memory, problem solving, language skills, etc and provides a way to measure the cognitive changes that occur during a relapse by comparing the scores gathered before a relapse to the scores gathered during a relapse.

This study involves 3 MS clinics: London (ON) MS clinic, Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland OH) and Jacobs Neurological Institute (Buffalo NY)

PART 1: Visit 1
If you agree to participate in this study, you will first sign the attached consent form. Once consent is signed a neurological exam will be completed,. Demographic information about yourself will be collected including MS characteristics, age, gender and education.

If you qualify & agree to be in the study an appointment will be made with you to administer a standard battery of cognitive tests. This visit will take place at Dr. Morrow’s Cognitive MS Clinic at Parkwood Hospital – Day Hospital area. This visit will take approximately 1 hour. This cognitive testing will serve as a baseline for comparison if an relapse occurs during the study to see how cognitive function changes during the relapse

PART 2: Visit 2 & 3
Only a portion of the participants who complete Part 1 will complete Part 2.

VISIT 2: If you experience a relapse you will be invited to complete the exact same cognitive tests that you completed for Part 1 while you are experiencing your relapse, prior to receiving corticosteroids if needed, to see if there is a decrease in cognitive function during the relapse. You will also be sent for an MRI.

Visit 3: Three months later you will do the testing and MRI again to see if cognitive function improves as the relapse improves
Recruitment Dates: Starting Date: 2015-08-11
Ending Date: 2019-08-11
Who can participate: In order to participate we are looking for: MS patients with relapsing remitting MS, who are between the ages of 18-49 and who have had a diagnosis of MS for less than 20 years. You must also be fluent in English, have no visual issues that prevent you from performing the tests - glasses are permitted (if you can read the newspaper, this likely means you can perform the tests), no changes to medication in the past 6 weeks, as well as no relapse or cortidosteroid use in the past 90 days. You must have no history of other medical or psychiatric illness that could compromise cognitive function such as a learning disability, alcohol / substance dependency or abuse.
Location of Trial: University of Western Ontario, London, ON
Contact Information: Heather Rosehart, Research Associate to Dr. Sarah Morrow
(519) 685 – 8500 ext. 34413
Trial Funding: National MS Society