18 October 2013

Cognitive Dysfunction in MS: New Insights and Clinical Management

Up to 70% of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) suffer from cognitive impairment. This condition frequently affects them even in the very early stages of the disease and has a negative influence on their quality of life and social functioning. Serono Symposia International Foundation (SSIF) has organized an international conference, 'Cognitive dysfunction in MS: New insights and clinical management' starting today in Taormina with the participation of leading international experts in the field of MS. 
    Cognitive impairment typically involves complex attention, information processing speed, (episodic) memory and executive functions, and often affects personal life and vocational status.  
    "This cognitive dysfunction associated with MS has a strong impact on the daily life of patients" - explains Professor Francesco Patti from the Department of Neurosciences, University of Catania, Italy. "Also, while the treatment of cognitive decline is still under discussion, controlled studies indicate that immunomodulatory therapies are associated with a modest cognitive improvement."  
    The aim of the SSIF conference is to review the state of the art in the field of cognition in MS and provide participants with new insight on significant aspects of cognitive dysfunction in MS patients, such as: affective and emotional problems; cognitive reserve; new techniques of MRI and clinical assessment tools. One session of the meeting will focus on cognition in the pediatric MS population.  
    "This disease mainly affects young people, so it is very important to improve the management of cognitive impairment" - says Professor Giancarlo Comi, President of the SSIF Scientific Committee. "In such a challenging field, our commitment is to progress in the clinical management of these dysfunctions: this kind of discussion contributes through sharing knowledge and recommendations for the improvement of clinical practice."  

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