Reflections of Visual-Cognitive Processing Deficits in Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis

Reflections of Visual-Cognitive Processing Deficits in Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is thought to be an autoimmune disorder which affects the central nervous system. According to the National Pediatric MS Center, in MS, myelin is lost in multiple areas, leaving scar tissue called sclerosis. When myelin or the nerve fiber is destroyed or damaged, the ability of the nerves to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain is disrupted, and this produces the various symptoms of MS. One of these symptoms is cognitive dysfunction. According to the National Pediatric MS Center, approximately 50% of individuals with MS will develop problems with cognition. While the disorder is typically diagnosed in individuals between the ages of 20 and 30, approximately 5% of the cases diagnosed are children (National Pediatric MS Center). Additionally, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society reports that 2% to 5% of adult patients with MS report having symptoms prior to age 18.
There are several challenges unique to the assessment and treatment of children with MS. First of all, because the symptoms of MS are similar to other childhood disorders, it is difficult to diagnose (National Multiple Sclerosis Society). Additionally, children may experience symptoms such as seizures and mental status changes that are not present in adults with MS (National Multiple Sclerosis Society). Finally, Smerbeck et al (2011) report that cognitive impairments may be more significant in children than adults with MS because the central nervous system is still developing. Language impairment and verbal intelligence are particular concerns (Smerbeck, et al.). Therefore, valid and reliable assessment tools are crucial for identifying these cognitive impairments in children with MS. This paper will revi...

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...eved from
Hubley, A.M. (2010). Review of the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised. Mental Measurements Yearbook. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society. (n.d.). Pediatric (Child) MS. Retrieved December 4, 2011, from
National Pediatric MS Center. (n.d.). About MS. Retrieved December 4, 2011, from
Reed, J.C. (2010). Review of the Symbol Digit Modalities Test. Mental Measurements Yearbook. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Smerbeck, A., Parrish, J., Serafin, D., Yeh, E., Weinstock-Guttman, B., Hoogs, M., . . . Benedict, R. (2011). Visual-cognitive processing deficits in pediatric multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 17(4), 449-456. doi:10.1177/1352458510391689

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