Impact of depression, fatigue, and global measure of cortical volume on cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis

Domenica Nunnari, Maria Cristina De Cola, Giangaetano D'Aleo, Carmela Rifici, Margherita Russo, Edoardo Sessa, Placido Bramanti, Silvia Marino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective. To investigate the influence of demographic and clinical variables, such as depression, fatigue, and quantitative MRI marker on cognitive performances in a sample of patients affected by multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods. 60 MS patients (52 relapsing remitting and 8 primary progressive) underwent neuropsychological assessments using Rao's Brief Repeatable Battery of Neuropsychological Tests (BRB-N), the Beck Depression Inventory-second edition (BDI-II), and the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS). We performed magnetic resonance imaging to all subjects using a 3 T scanner and obtained tissue-specific volumes (normalized brain volume and cortical brain volume). We used Student's t-test to compare depressed and nondepressed MS patients. Finally, we performed a multivariate regression analysis in order to assess possible predictors of patients' cognitive outcome among demographic and clinical variables. Results. 27.12% of the sample (16/59) was cognitively impaired, especially in tasks requiring attention and information processing speed. From between group comparison, we find that depressed patients had worse performances on BRB-N score, greater disability and disease duration, and brain volume decrease. According to multiple regression analysis, the BDI-II score was a significant predictor for most of the neuropsychological tests. Conclusions. Our findings suggest that the presence of depressive symptoms is an important determinant of cognitive performance in MS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number519785
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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