A Videogame-Based Approach to Measuring Information Processing Speed in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Games Health J. 2021 Apr;10(2):115-120. doi: 10.1089/g4h.2020.0069.


Objective: Slowing information processing speed (IPS) is a biomarker of neuronal damage in patients with multiple sclerosis (pwMS). A focus on IPS might be the ideal solution in the perspective of promptly detecting cognitive changes over time. We developed a tablet-based home-made videogame to test the sensitivity of this device in measuring subclinical IPS in pwMS. Materials and Methods: Forty-three pwMS without cognitive impairment and 20 healthy controls (HCs) were administered the videogame task with a tablet. Response times (RTs) and accuracy were recorded. Results: PwMS (mean RTs = 505.5 ± 73.9 ms) were significantly slower than HCs (mean RTs = 462.3 ± 40.3 ms, P = 0.014) on the videogame task. A moderate but significant correlation (r = -0.35, P = 0.03) between mean RTs and the Symbol Digit Modalities Test was observed. Conclusion: Our videogame showed good sensitivity in measuring IPS in apparently cognitive normal pwMS. Computerized testing might be useful in screening initial cognitive dysfunction that should be monitored as a marker of underlying disease progression. IRB approval Number is 2332CESC.

Keywords: Computerized assessment; Information processing speed; Multiple sclerosis; Videogame.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electronic Data Processing / classification
  • Electronic Data Processing / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Video Games / standards*
  • Video Games / trends