PIRE Publication - Language functions in patients with multiple sclerosis


Few studies have demonstrated language impairment in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) compared to healthy controls. The purpose of this investigation was to examine language functions, specifically naming, comprehension, and verbal fluency, in patients with MS and healthy controls to (1) determine if patients with MS demonstrate language impairment, and (2) provide clarification of MS-related language disturbance, particularly in patients with MS of differing courses. Results showed that both chronic-progressive and relapsing-remitting patients with MS performed significantly more poorly than controls on naming, aural comprehension, letter fluency, and category fluency, as well as other language-based cognitive measures. Chronic-progressive patients obtained significantly lower scores than relapsing-remitting patients on the latter three tests. The language disturbance in this MS sample may be partly explained by impairment in other verbal cognitive functions. These findings highlight the importance of assessing language abilities in patients with MS.

Friend, K. B.
Rabin, B. M.
Groninger, L.
Deluty, R. H.
Bever, C.
Grattan, L.