News Release

Kessler Foundation study compares neuropsychological tests for assessing deficits in MS

MS researchers report differences in performance on Comparing the Open Trial - Selective Reminding Test results with the California Learning Verbal Test II

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Kessler Foundation

Silvana L. Costa, Kessler Foundation

image: Dr. Silvana Costa is an associate research scientist in Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation. view more 

Credit: Kessler Foundation

East Hanover, NJ. May 24, 2018. A recent article by Kessler Foundation researchers compared two neuropsychological tests for assessing learning in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). The article, "Comparing the Open Trial - Selective Reminding Test results with the California Learning Verbal Test II in Multiple Sclerosis" was published online on April 4, 2018, in Applied Neuropsychology: Adult.

This is the first study to compare the two tests in the same individuals with MS. The authors are Silvana L. Costa, PhD, John DeLuca, PhD, Kristen Costanza and Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD of Kessler Foundation. The article link is:

Researchers administered the tests to 112 individuals with MS, 79 women and 33 men. Results showed clear differences in performance on the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT-II) and the Open Trial Selective Reminding Test (OT-SRT). On the OT-SRT, all participants were identified as impaired, while only 34 percent were similarly identified on the CLV-TII. Differences in administration of the tests may explain this disparity. With the OT-SRT learning and memory are tested with minimal reliance on other cognitive abilities. With the CVLTII, reliance on other cognitive abilities is more prominent, likely affecting the testing results.

"It is essential that the neuropsychological assessment accurately pinpoint the deficits in MS," said Dr. Costa, the lead author. "This is fundamental to developing interventions to address these deficits, and tailoring cognitive rehabilitation programs for maximal outcomes in this population."


This research was supported by National Institutes of Health 1R01HD045798, International Progressive MS Alliance grant PA0128, National MS Society grants PP1952 and MB 0024, National Institute for Disability, Independent Living Rehabilitation Research grant 90SF0012-01-00, and the Hearst Foundation.

About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit

For more information, or to interview an expert, contact: Carolann Murphy, 973.324.8382,

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.