Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Rourke, B. P.,


Biology, Neuroscience.




The correlation between the pathological changes of multiple sclerosis and the subcortical dementia profile was investigated. The relationship of demyelination (as detected by T2-weighted and gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted MRI imaging), to both physical disability (as documented using the Expanded Disability Status Scale), and cognitive deterioration (as detected by neuropsychological assessment), was examined. Twelve individuals with early-stage relapsing-remitting MS underwent serial imaging, neurological examination, and neuropsychological assessment at both baseline and 6month follow-up. Results revealed mild deterioration in functioning with respect to all four aspects of the subcortical dementia profile (i.e., attention and information processing speed, memory, executive functioning, and affective disturbance). Although no significant correlation was found between pathology and ratings of disability, pathology was found to correlate with cognitive functioning. Specifically, total lesion load predicted a significant amount of the variability in attention and executive functioning at baseline and follow-up, and in memory at baseline. Total lesion load was not significantly related to affective disturbance. No significant changes took place over time with respect to pathology, attention, memory, or affect. However, executive functioning improved to a mild degree. The significant relationship between pathology and cognitive dysfunction were discussed in the context of the subcortical dementia profile. The notion of clinically-silent lesions in multiple sclerosis was brought into question. It was recommended that neuropsychological assessment become a standard outcome measurement technique in future clinical trials for multiple sclerosis.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1998 .S64. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 61-09, Section: B, page: 4599. Adviser: B. P. Rourke. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1998.