Academic journal article British Journal of Occupational Therapy

Executive Function and Multiple Sclerosis: Implications for Occupational Therapy Practice

Academic journal article British Journal of Occupational Therapy

Executive Function and Multiple Sclerosis: Implications for Occupational Therapy Practice

Article excerpt

Executive function and multiple sclerosis: implications for occupational therapy practice. Glasgow Caledonian University, 2008. PhD.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic progressive disease of the central nervous system and is the leading cause of neurological disability in early to middle adulthood. Multiple sclerosis is characterised by a broad array of symptoms, including cognitive dysfunction. Like many aspects of multiple sclerosis, the cognitive impairment symptom profile varies greatly between individuals and across disease trajectories, with recent evidence suggesting that cognitive impairment encompasses all the disease subtypes.

The most frequently observed cognitive impairments are memory, attention, processing speed, visuospatial abilities and executive functions. Executive functions include the ability to initiate, plan, organise and monitor our goal-directed behaviours. Executive function deficits are most apparent in unstructured or novel situations; therefore, accurate identification of executive dysfunction is complex. Traditional measures do not fully reflect the nature of difficulties people experience within the complex demands of everyday life situations. …

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