Visual Pathway Measures are Associated with Neuropsychological Function in Multiple Sclerosis

James Nguyen, Alissa Rothman, Kathryn Fitzgerald, Anna Whetstone, Stephanie Syc-Mazurek, Jannelle Aquino, Laura J. Balcer, Elliot M. Frohman, Teresa C. Frohman, Ciprian Crainiceanu, Meghan Beier, Scott D. Newsome, Peter A. Calabresi, Shiv Saidha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the relationships between visual function and ganglion cell and inner plexiform layer thickness and neuropsychological measures in multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: Ninety-five relapsing–remitting MS (RRMS) and 36 progressive MS patients underwent 100%-contrast visual acuity (VA), 2.5%- and 1.25%-contrast letter acuity (LA) testing, Cirrus-HD-optical coherence tomography, and neuropsychological assessments. Mixed-effects regression models were used to assess relationships. Results: Across the cohort, 1.25%-contrast LA was associated with Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT; β = 2.17, p = 0.005) and Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised (BVMT-R) total recall (TR) and delayed recall (DR) scores (β = 0.31, p < 0.001; β = 0.15, p = 0.039, respectively). 2.5%-contrast LA was associated with BVMT-R TR scores (β = 0.27, p = 0.006). In the RRMS cohort, 1.25%-contrast LA was generally more significantly associated with cognitive measures: SDMT (β = 2.97, p = 0.001) and BVMT-R TR (β = 0.32, p < 0.001) and DR (β = 0.22, p = 0.012). Conclusion: This study suggests that visual pathway measures, particularly visual function measures, reflect aspects of cognitive function in MS, further supporting their roles as complementary outcomes in MS neuroprotection trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-948
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018


  • Visual pathway
  • multiple sclerosis
  • neuropsychological assessment
  • optical coherence tomography
  • visual function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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