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Neuropsychological Testing

MS patients can experience one or more cognitive problems as a part of their disease.

Neuropsychological testing (or testing of the functioning of your brain) involves trying to identify cognitive problems associated with MS, which are then usually addressed by finding ways to work around some of the mild to moderate issues experienced.

Symptoms can include:

  • Reduced speed of information processing
  • Difficulties learning and remembering new information
  • Problems with "working memory" or mental multi-tasking

These cognitive problems can often be managed effectively using compensatory strategies. Studies are underway to assess medications for the treatment of MS-related cognitive symptoms, but there are currently no medications that clearly benefit cognitive problems caused by MS.

What is neuropsychological testing?

A neuropsychological evaluation is a way of evaluating many different kinds of cognitive abilities, such as those mentioned above. This involves pencil and paper tests and may include some computer-administered tests. Many people find these tests interesting. The neuropsychologist or neuropsychology technician will explain each test to you before you start. We ask people to set aside 6-7 hours to complete the testing, though it does not always take that long. You will have a lunch break, and can take other breaks as needed.

It is helpful to prepare for the tests by getting a good night's sleep before coming in for the session.

We ask people to set aside 6-7 hours to complete the testing, although often less time is required. A better understanding of your neuropsychological functioning can help your doctor determine a diagnosis and decide what treatment might be best for you. A referral is required.

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