Perspective taking deficits and their relationship with theory of mind abilities in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS)

Diana Bruno*, Agostina Galiani, María Golfeder, Fatima Pagani Cassará, John Duncan, Vladimiro Sinay, María Roca

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction and objectives: In recent years, research has reported that between 45% and 70% of patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) have cognitive deficits, the most prominent being those associated with the frontal lobe. Among these deficits, we can find Theory of Mind (ToM), which is the ability to infer feelings and thoughts of others. Although it has been suggested that ToM relies on more basic skills, such as perspective taking (PT), no studies have investigated this association in patients with MS. The aim of this study was to investigate PT abilities in patients with MS and to establish their relationship with ToM deficits. Material and methods: 36 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and 42 healthy controls matched by age, sex and educational level were evaluated. Both groups were tested to estimate premorbid and current intellectual capacity, PT, ToM (Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test -RMET- and Faux Pas) and complementary scales (fatigue, depression and disability). Results: Patients with RRMS presented significant differences from controls in both PT and ToM tests. The PT test showed positive correlation with RMET, one of our ToM tests. Conclusion: The results show that there is a relationship between ToM and PT abilities. Our findings are of clinical and academic relevance to both the assessment and interpretation as well as the rehabilitation of social deficits in MS.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Neuropsychology:Adult
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • perspective taking
  • social cognition
  • theory of mind

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