The computer-based Symbol Digit Modalities Test: establishing age-expected performance in healthy controls and evaluation of pediatric MS patients.

Bigi, Sandra; Marrie, R A; Till, C; Yeh, E A; Akbar, N; Feinstein, A; Banwell, B L (2017). The computer-based Symbol Digit Modalities Test: establishing age-expected performance in healthy controls and evaluation of pediatric MS patients. Neurological sciences, 38(4), pp. 635-642. Springer 10.1007/s10072-017-2813-0

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Decreased information processing speed (IPS) is frequently reported in pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The computerized version of the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (c-SDMT) measures IPS over eight consecutive trials per session and additionally captures changes in performance within the session. Here, we establish normative c-SDMT performance and test-retest reliability in healthy children (HC) and explore differences in the overall c-SDMT-performance between HC and MS patients. This cross-sectional study included 478 HC (237 female, 49.5%) divided into five age groups (2 years each), and 27 MS patients (22 female, 81.5%) aged 8-18 years. The average time to complete the c-SDMT increased with age (|r| 0.70, 95% CI -0.74, -0.64). Test-retest reliability was high (ICC = 0.91) in HC. The total time to complete the c-SDMT did not differ between children with MS and sex- and age- matched HC (p = 0.23). However, MS patients were less likely to show faster performance across all the successive eight trials compared to HC (p = 0.0001). Healthy children demonstrate faster IPS with increasing age, as well as during successive trials of the c-SDMT. The inability of pediatric MS patients to maintain the increase in processing speed over successive trials suggests a reduced capacity for procedural learning, possibly resulting from cognitive fatigue.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Bigi, Sandra

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

1590-1874

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sinthuja Rajkumar

Date Deposited:

21 Mar 2018 14:58

Last Modified:

28 Oct 2019 23:16

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s10072-017-2813-0

PubMed ID:

28078569

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Neurocognition Pediatric MS Processing speed Symbol Digit Modalities Test

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.111151

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/111151

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