Cognitive test: PASAT


Approximately two-thirds of people with MS may experience cognitive difficulties [1]. They can occur in all disease stages, including early stages of disease [1]. Cognitive problems can affect ability to work, drive, and maintain and enjoy social relationships, ultimately leading to a reduced quality of life [1].

The cognitive test used in the BENEFIT study was the Paced Auditory Serial Addition (PASAT) test. Throughout the study’s observation period, the early BETAFERON-treated group achieved better PASAT scores compared with the group with a delayed initiation of treatment (p = 0.0036  for treatment effect over 15 years, longitudinal linear mixed model adjusted for baseline PASAT score) [2-7]. The figure below shows the results of the PASAT test in the BENEFIT-15 study [2].

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In the BENEFIT study, early treatment with BETAFERON was associated with sustained benefits in cognitive performance versus delayed initiation of treatment, as measured by the PASAT [7]


Putting the findings into context

Normative data [8]

Mean (SD), as per the user manual [2]

  • ≤12 years of education: 46.7 (9.1)
  • >12 years of education: 50.4 (9.7)



MS cohort (and matched controls) from Finland [9]
[mean (SD) age 42.7 (8.3); disease duration 12.9 (7.6) and years of education 13.1 (3.5)]

  • Overall (n=45): 39.6 (12.2)
  • Cognitively deteriorated (n=19): 35.4 (9.2)
  • Cognitively intact (n=26): 42.6 (13.4)
  • Matched controls (n=48): 47.9 (10.2)





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