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Application of the Rey-Osterrieth complex figure test for assessment of cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis

Ivan Dimitrov, Vyara Kirkova, Ara Kaprelyan, Borislav Ivanov, Nataliya Usheva, Margarita Grudkova, Daniela Arabadzhieva, Nadezhda Deleva


INTRODUCTION: Cognitive impairment is frequent in multiple sclerosis and predominantly affects visuospatial abilities, memory, attention, and executive functions. Because of the specific cognitive profile, different from that in Alzheimer's disease and other frequent disorders presenting with dementia, specific neuropsychological instruments need to be used in multiple sclerosis. The aim of the present study is to assess the applicability of the Rey-Osterrieth complex figure test (ROCFT) for assessing cognitive impairment in patients with multiple sclerosis in comparison with a control group.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: One hundred and two persons, 70 patients with MS and 32 healthy control subjects were assessed using ROCFT. A standardized system for assessment by points and percentiles was used. The results of both groups were compared statistically using independent samples t-test.

RESULTS: On the copying task, the differences between patients and controls reached statistical significance, p<0.05 for the raw score, and p<0.001 after results were grouped by percentiles. On the drawing by memory task the differences between the two groups also showed statistical significance, p<0.01.

CONCLUSION: ROCFT shows statistically significant differences between patients with multiple sclerosis and healthy subjects. Highest levels of significance were observed for copying, scored by percentiles, and for drawing by memory. The application of ROCFT can provide valuable information about cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis.


cognitive impairment; multiple sclerosis; ROCFT; visuospatial abilities

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About The Authors

Ivan Dimitrov
Medical university of Varna UMHAT St.Marina

Vyara Kirkova
Stroke Unit, Second Neurology Clinic, St. Marina University Hospital, Varna, Bulgaria

Ara Kaprelyan
Department of Neurological Diseases and Neuroscience, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria

Borislav Ivanov
Department of Clinical Medical Sciences, Dental Faculty, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria

Nataliya Usheva

Margarita Grudkova
Department of Neurological Diseases and Neuroscience, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria

Daniela Arabadzhieva
Department of Neurological Diseases and Neuroscience, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria

Nadezhda Deleva
Department of Neurological Diseases and Neuroscience, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria

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