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The TRACK-MS Test Battery: A Very Brief Tool to Track Multiple Sclerosis-Related Cognitive Impairment

ORCID
0000-0001-9165-4437
Affiliation
Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Ulm University, D-89071 Ulm, Germany
Taranu, Daniela;
ORCID
0000-0002-1647-6201
Affiliation
Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Ulm University, D-89071 Ulm, Germany
Tumani, Hayrettin;
Affiliation
Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Ulm University, D-89071 Ulm, Germany
Holbrook, Jill;
Affiliation
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Ulm University, D-89071 Ulm, Germany
Tumani, Visal;
Affiliation
Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Ulm University, D-89071 Ulm, Germany
Uttner, Ingo;
ORCID
0000-0002-7456-3098
Affiliation
Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Ulm University, D-89071 Ulm, Germany
Fissler, Patrick

Tracking cognition in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) is important for detection of disease progression but it is often not performed in routine settings due to time constraints. This exploratory cohort study aims to develop a very brief repeatable tracking tool with comparable test quality criteria to the current gold standard, the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for MS (BICAMS). The study included 88 participants (22 healthy controls, 66 MS patients) who were examined at baseline and at one-year follow-up. As a validity criterion for the six administered cognitive tests, we assessed the difference between MS patients and HC, and the correlation with MS-related disability. Combining the two tests with the highest validity—the Controlled Oral Word Association Test and Symbol Digit Modalities Test—yielded an administration time of 5 min. Comparing this new TRACK-MS test battery with the 15 min BICAMS indicated that TRACK-MS showed larger differences between MS patients and healthy controls, a higher correlation with MS-related disability, smaller practice effects, and a good test–retest reliability. We provide evidence that TRACK-MS, although faster to administer, showed at least comparable quality criteria as the BICAMS. As the study was exploratory, replication of these results is necessary.

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