Benchmarks of meaningful improvement on neurocognitive tests in multiple sclerosis

Mult Scler. 2022 Mar;28(3):487-491. doi: 10.1177/13524585211044672. Epub 2021 Sep 9.


Background: Previous studies have established benchmarks of clinically meaningful decline on neuropsychological tests. However, little is known about meaningful testing benchmarks based on gains in function.

Objective: Investigate neuropsychological changes in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with work gains and calculate benchmarks of meaningful improvement on neuropsychological tests.

Methods: A total of 323 people with MS were monitored longitudinally with neuropsychological testing and the Buffalo Vocational Monitoring Survey.

Results/conclusions: Those with work gains showed significant improvement (~3 points) on the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT) over time, p = 0.01. Benchmarks for clinically meaningful improvement on the SDMT are similar to those previously established for clinically meaningful decline.

Keywords: Multiple sclerosis; cognition; employment; neuropsychology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking
  • Humans
  • Mental Status and Dementia Tests
  • Multiple Sclerosis*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Surveys and Questionnaires