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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 94--98

Social Cognition Impairments in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: Comparison with Grade of Disability

1 Multiprofile Hospital for Active Treatment “National Cardiology Hospital”, Clinic of Neurology, Sofia, Bulgaria
2 Department of Neurosurgery, “St. Ivan Rilski” University Hospital, Clinic of Neurosurgery, Sofia, Bulgaria
3 Department of Bioinformatics and Mathematical Modelling, Institute of Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Valentina G Ignatova
Multiprofile Hospital for Active Treatment National Cardiology Hospital, Clinic of Neurology, Sofia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.279700

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Objectives: Social cognitive impairments are an essential aspect of general disability in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). They can manifest independently or in addition to physical deficits. Aim: To examine the impairment of social cognition and its potential relationship with the grade of disability in MS patients. Settings and Design: Our study included 17 healthy controls and 36 patients with clinically definite MS (relapsing-remittent form) according to the McDonald Criteria (2010). The patients were divided into two groups – patients with Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) <3.5 (N = 18) and those with EDSS ≥3.5 (N = 18). The neuropsychological battery included empathy assessment (Self-Compassion, “Reading the Mind”) and theory of mind tests – ToM (Faux pas, cartoons). Results: We did not register a change in self-assessment empathy in MS. Reading the Mind in Eye test showed a clear tendency for deterioration with increasing physical disability. The statistically significant difference (P < 0.05) between the results of controls and patients with EDSS ≥3.5 was registered. The tests for interpreting stories perceived in an auditory manner (“faux pas”) showed a clear trend toward “failure” among patients (P < 0.05). The results of patients with high disability in ToM cartoons task were statistically worse (P < 0.01) both in comparison to those of controls and patients with EDSS <3.5. Conclusion: Our study found that, during the course of MS, deterioration of both social cognitive skills and basic cognitive abilities occurs, which is parallel to physical disability.


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