RISCOP–Cognitive profile in a Portuguese cohort of radiological isolated syndrome patients: A case-control study

Vanessa Carvalho, Carolina Soares, Inês Gomes, Andreia Carvalho, Filipa Serrazina, Sofia Grenho Rodrigues, Joaquim Pinheiro, Inês Brás Marques, Filipe Correia, Ana Sofia Correia, João de Sá, Lívia Sousa, José Vale, Maria José Sá, Cláudia Sousa, João Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Radiologically isolated syndrome (RIS) refers to the incidental discovery of white matter lesions suggestive of MS, on brain MRI, in asymptomatic patients. Recent studies suggest similar features of cognitive impairment between RIS and MS patients. Also, lower levels of health-related quality of life (QOL) and fatigue are reported in such patients. Aims: characterize and compare the cognitive profile of a multicentric Portuguese cohort of RIS patients with a control group. Methods: multicentric comparative study of a cohort of adult patients with RIS, and age and gender-matched controls followed in the headache outpatient clinic with prior MRI not fulfilling criteria for RIS diagnosis. We conducted interviews with participants, collected clinical data and applied the BICAMS battery and self-reported questionnaires (HADS, MFIS, MSQOL-54). Results: we evaluated 31 patients with RIS (median age 46 years, IQR [(Dusankova et al., 2012-52], 72% women) and 19 control individuals (median age 32 years, IQR [(O'Jile et al., 2005-48], 71% women). Prevalence of cognitive impairment did not differ between groups (16% of the RIS and 10% of the controls, p=0.579). We found no differences between groups on the BICAMS tests, although the results of the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT-II) score presented a trend to significance, with a lower value on the RIS group (53.9 vs. 59.3, p=0.066). There were no significant differences regarding fatigue, QOL, anxiety/depression scores. Conclusion: this is the first study on a Portuguese cohort of RIS patients assessing cognitive profile with BICAMS. A non-neglectable part of our cohort presented cognitive impairment. Our findings add to previous studies in suggesting that a more pronounced impairment of verbal memory and learning, evaluated by CVLT-II, may be present in RIS patients compared to controls. BICAMS should be assessed on future studies with larger cohorts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102832
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Cognition
  • Learning
  • Radiological isolated syndrome
  • Verbal memory


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