IMR Press / JIN / Volume 21 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.31083/j.jin2101007
Open Access Original Research
Clinical and neurophysiological patterns of impairments to emotion attention and empathy in multiple sclerosis
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1 Department of Clinical and Cognitive Neurorehabilitation, 93413 Klinik Bavaria Kreischa, Germany
2 Department of Neurology, University of Greifswald, 17489 Greifswald, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
3 Ambulance of Psychotherapy, 14547 Beelitz, Germany
4 Institute of Physiological and Clinical Psychology, University of Greifswald, 17489 Greifswald, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
5 Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology, University of Greifswald, 17489 Greifswald, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
*Correspondence: (Michael Adamaszek)
J. Integr. Neurosci. 2022, 21(1), 7;
Submitted: 11 March 2021 | Revised: 9 April 2021 | Accepted: 23 June 2021 | Published: 28 January 2022
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Patients suffering from multiple sclerosis experience various cognitive and affective impairments, resulting in a negative impact on social behavior and personal independence to differing degrees. According to these often clinically subtle but conflicting cognitive-affective impairments, recordings of these socially relevant issues are still of demand to stratifying clinical and social support in a sophisticated way. Therefore, we studied specific cognitive and affective capacities in eleven patients with a predominant relapsing-remitting type of multiple sclerosis by applying paradigms of event-related potentials and a well-selected neuropsychological test protocol. Thus far, distinct cognitive disturbances of executive and attentional domains and the Wechsler Memory Test’s four memory indices were found in multiple sclerosis patients. Concerning affective domains, patients showed discrete impairments of affect discrimination and affected naming as proved by specific testing (Tuebinger Affect Battery). Neurophysiologically, event-related potentials recordings in multiple sclerosis patients, were associated with decreased implicit emotion processing to cues of different emotion arousal at the early processing stage depending on attentional capacities and alterations of implicit emotion modulation at late processing stages. These clinical neurophysiological and neuropsychological data were correlated in part to quantitative magnetic resonance imaging brain lesions. Summarizing our data, our data indicate certain neurocognitive and neuroaffective dysfunctions in patients with multiple sclerosis, thus highlighting the validity of sensitive recording of less apparent neurologic disturbances in multiple sclerosis for optimizing the individual care management in patients.

Multiple sclerosis
Emotion attention
Emotion empathy
Event-related potentials
Fig. 1.
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