Abstract The Relative Consequence Model proposes multiple sclerosis (MS) patients have a fundamental deficit in processing speed that compromises other cognitive functions. The present study examined the mediating role of processing speed, as well as working memory, in the MS-related effects on other cognitive functions for early relapsing-remitting patients. Seventy relapsing-remitting MS patients with disease duration not greater than 10 years and 72 controls completed tasks assessing processing speed, working memory, learning, and executive functioning. The possible mediating roles of speed and working memory in the MS-related effects on other cognitive functions were evaluated using structural equation modeling. Processing speed was not significantly related to group membership and could not have a mediating role. Working memory was related to group membership and functioned as a mediating/intervening factor. The results do not support the Relative Consequence Model in this sample and they challenge the notion that working memory impairment only emerges at later disease stages. The results do support a mediating/intervening role of working memory. These results were obtained for early relapsing-remitting MS patients and should not be generalized to the broader MS population. Instead, future research should examine the relations that exist at other disease stages. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1-12) Copyright

Additional Metadata
Keywords Cognitive functioning, Information processing speed, Keywords Multiple sclerosis, Working memory
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1355617713000696
Journal Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Citation
Berrigan, L.I. (Lindsay I.), LeFevre, J.-A, Rees, L.M. (Laura M.), Berard, J. (Jason), Freedman, M.S. (Mark S.), & Walker, L.A.S. (2013). Cognition in early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: Consequences may be relative to working memory. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 19(8), 938–949. doi:10.1017/S1355617713000696