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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Cognitive impairment and “invisible symptoms” are not associated with CCSVI in MS

Carmela Leone1, Emanuele D’Amico1, Sabina Cilia1, Alessandra Nicoletti1, Luigi Di Pino2 and Francesco Patti1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department GF Ingrassia, Section of Neurosciences, University of Catania, Catania, Italy

2 Department of Cardiology, University of Catania, Catania, Italy

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BMC Neurology 2013, 13:97  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-13-97

Published: 27 July 2013

Abstract

Background

We investigated the association between chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) and cognitive impairment (CI) in multiple sclerosis (MS). Moreover, we evaluated the association between CCSVI and other frequent self-reported MS symptoms.

Methods

We looked at the presence of CI in incident MS patients with CCVSI in a population-based cohort of Catania, Italy. All subjects were group-matched by age, sex, disease duration and EDSS score with MS patients without CCSVI, serving as controls. CI was assessed with the Brief Repeatable Battery (BRB) and the Stroop Test (ST) and it was defined by the presence of at least three impaired tests. Fatigue and depressive symptoms were assessed with Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and Hamilton Depressive Rating Scale (HDRS), respectively. Bladder and sexual symptoms were assessed with the respective items of the Italian version of Guy's Neurological Disability Scale (GNDS). Quality of life was evaluated with Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life-54 Instrument (MSQOL-54).

Results

Out of 61 MS patients enrolled in the study, 27 were CCSVI positive and 34 were CCSVI negative. Of them, 43 were women (70.5%); the mean age was 43.9 ± 11.8 years; the mean disease duration was 159.7 ± 113.7 months; mean EDSS was 3.0 ± 2.6. Of them, 36 (59.0%) were classified relapsing-remitting (RR), 12 (19.7%) secondary progressive (SP), seven (11.5%) primary progressive (PP) and six (9.3%) Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS). Overall, CI was detected in 29/61 (47.5%) MS patients; particularly 13/27 (48.1%) in the CCSVI positive group and 16/34 (47.0%) in the CCSVI negative group. Presence of CCSVI was not significantly associated with the presence of CI (OR 1.04; 95% CI 0.37-2.87; p-value = 0.9). Not significant differences were found between the two groups regarding the other MS symptoms investigated.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest a lack of association between CCSVI and CI in MS patients. Fatigue, depressive, bladder/sexual symptoms and self-reported quality of life are not associated with CCSVI.