High openness and high extroversion are linked with better time-based prospective memory in multiple sclerosis

Simona Raimo, Luigi Trojano, Mariachiara Gaita, Daniele Spitaleri, Gabriella Santangelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Prospective memory (PM) deficits are often reported in multiple sclerosis (MS), but their relationship with neuropsychological characteristics and personality traits remains to be explored. Objective: To systematically investigate both time-based and event-based PM abilities in a sample of MS without clinically relevant disability or global cognitive decline and to explore cognitive, neuropsychiatric characteristics and personality traits associated with PM deficits. Methods: Thirty-three patients with MS and 33 healthy individuals were enrolled in the study. All participants underwent a standardized measure of PM to evaluate both time-based and event-based PM. Moreover, patients with MS completed the Brief Repeatable Battery to assess cognitive functioning, the Beck Depression Inventory-II and the Dimensional Apathy Scale to assess neuropsychiatric characteristics, and the NEO Personality Inventory-3 to assess personality traits. Results: Individuals with MS demonstrated impaired time-based PM compared to healthy individuals. The regression analysis showed that poor performance in time-based PM was significantly related to lower extroversion and openness traits, whereas poor performance in event-based PM was significantly related to lower visuospatial memory abilities. Conclusions: Low levels of openness and extroversion traits are associated with a greater risk of developing time-based PM deficit. Therefore, personality assessment and behavioural interventions should be encouraged in MS clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neurology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Apathy
  • Cognitive functioning
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Personality
  • Prospective memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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