Properly Assessing Cognition in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: John DeLuca, PhD


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“Once you have the assessment, you also have to have a treatment plan, and that’s more difficult. These are times when you refer to [specialists]. If your patient has a heart problem, you refer him to a cardiologist. If the person has a cognitive problem, you should speak to a cognitive expert.

Cognitive challenges and impairments have become a priority topic of conversation between patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their doctors. At the 2022 annual meeting of the Consortium of MS Centers (CMSC), June 1-4, in National Harbor, Maryland, this was the subject of several presentations given by experts in the care of these people. Although these issues are not always the focus of day-to-day clinical care.

John DeLuca, PhD, senior vice president for research and education at the Kessler Foundation, and professor in the departments of physical medicine and rehabilitation and neurology at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, said NeurologyLive® that often, unfortunately, the difficulties encountered in solving these problems – and the time required to carry out assessments – constitute obstacles to optimal management. For DeLuca, however, in the context of a patient with controlled disease, cognitive issues are usually a priority and therefore should be of similar importance to clinical care.

DeLuca offered his advice to clinicians on how best to incorporate these assessments into their care regimens and stressed the importance of establishing a baseline as early as possible in order to identify issues in the same way.

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