Cognitive decline is a debilitating and widespread comorbidity of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affecting up to 65 percent of patients with MS (PwMS). Cognitive changes can be the only behavioral index of MS activity. But how accurately and timely can these be captured? The existing clinical tools are subjective and do not have the dynamic of prognosis. It remains uncertain how much change in cognitive status is required to translate into a meaningful clinical outcome and how long it may subsequently take to become apparent. This highlights the need for a parallel to cognitive interventions approach to capture MS-related cognitive impairment via real-world assessment.
MS - NEUROPLAST investigates the neuroplastic properties of cognitive training in PwMS and quantifies via real-world assessment the MS-related cognitive changes to characterize not only decline but given the right dosage of stimulation improvement as well. The course of MS is presumed to be the net result of disease burden and compensatory capacity. The identification of what is beneficial plasticity and by contrast what is maladaptive reorganization in combination with elements of daily functional status can be a game-changer in developing therapeutic strategies able to promote the individual adaptive capacity.
MS-NEUROPLAST has three main objectives:
- the in-depth understanding of the neural indices of cognitive impairment in PwMS (i.e., identify decline transition points along the continuum of cognitive capacity).
- to evaluate the efficacy of a computerized cognitive training treatment for MS-associated cognitive deficits via EEG indices and neuropsychological tests.
- to investigate the dissociation of the cortical mechanisms related to training-induced plasticity and maladaptive reorganization (namely separate good from the bad), by examining whether the correlation of the neurophysiological and cognitive indices with longitudinal digital biomarkers and electronic Patient Reported Outcome Measures (ePROMs) can capture the underlying pathology.