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Published online: 2024-03-21

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Symbol Digit Modalities Test in progressive multiple sclerosis

Bartosz Gajewski1, Iwona Karlińska1, Mariusz Stasiołek1


Introduction. The Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT) is a highly sensitive neuropsychological tool used for the assessment of information processing speed (IPS) in various neurological disorders.

State of the art. In this review, we have focused on the current knowledge regarding the use of SDMT selectively in the evaluation of progressive multiple sclerosis (PMS) patients. A literature review was performed regarding the application of SDMT in PMS, with a focus on the primary progressive and secondary progressive subtypes. Relationships of diverse disease-associated factors with SDMT have been described, including disease course, imaging findings, molecular biomarkers, treatment and others.

Clinical implications. SDMT is a very useful and easily applicable instrument in the diagnostic armamentarium of neurologists and neuropsychologists. It is especially valuable in the evaluation of PMS patients, in whom the prevalence of IPS deficits is higher than in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis subjects or in healthy individuals.

Future directions. An emphasis should be laid on larger study groups and differentiating between individual PMS subtypes and their separate analysis in the context of cognitive assessment.

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