Research Article| Volume 70, 104502, February 2023

Cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis: Utility of electroencephalography

Published:January 04, 2023DOI:


      • Symbol digit modalities test was positively correlated with background activity.
      • Tunisian verbal test was positively correlated with background activity.
      • Slower background activity was associated with executive dysfunction.
      • EEG could be a tool for monitoring cortical involvement during multiple sclerosis.



      to evaluate associations between neurocognitive impairment and electroencephalography (EEG) data in Multiple Sclerosis (MS).


      patients aged between 18 and 65 years, diagnosed with MS accordingly to the McDonald 2017 criteria and who were in remission for at least one month were included. Cognitive functions were evaluated by validated neuropsychological tests for Tunisian population. Electroencephalography data of each patient were analysed, Grand Total EEG (GTE) score was calculated and we evaluated their statistical links with cognitive impairment.


      Thirty five patients were included. Slower background activity was associated with presence of: reduced information processing speed (IPS) (p = 0,03), verbal memory impairment (p = 0,04) and executive dysfunction (p = 0,016). The score 3 of GTE (reactivity of background activity) was associated with reduced IPS (p = 0,007) and executive dysfunction (p = 0,014). We found a positive correlation between background activity and Tunisian Verbal Test (TVLT) (ρ =0,46 ; p = 0,005) and Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT) (ρ =0,35 ; p = 0,03). Sensitivity of GTE score was 68,4% for executive dysfunction (cut-off=2,5) and 66,7% for reduced IPS (cut-off=2,5).


      Our results have shown utility of EEG in detecting cortical involvement and its correlation with cognitive impairment in MS patients.


      EEG could be a tool for monitoring cortical involvement during MS and predict cognitive impairment.


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