Memory and Identification of Emotional Expression in Pediatric - Onset Multiple Sclerosis
Fabri, Tracy Lauren
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This study investigated whether 72 patients with pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (MS) differed from 94 healthy controls on accuracy and response time on tests of episodic memory and identification of emotional expression using the Penn Computerized Neurocognitive Battery. We then tested the potential association between performance on episodic memory and emotion identification tests collapsing across the patient and control groups. Finally, we aimed to elucidate how neuropathology of the hippocampus, amygdala, and thalamus (using structural MRI), may impact episodic memory and emotion identification abilities. Results suggest that patients with pediatric-onset MS have difficulty with aspects of both episodic memory and emotion identification. Response time on all episodic memory tasks was positively associated with response time on the emotion tasks. Although patients demonstrated significantly smaller total and regional brain volumes, only thalamic volume appeared to relate to cognitive performance (i.e., response time on the Emotion Recognition test). Implications of emotion identification difficulties are discussed.