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The Computerized Test of Information Processing (CTIP) Offers an Alternative to the PASAT for Assessing Cognitive Processing Speed in Individuals With Multiple Sclerosis

Tombaugh, Tom N. PhD* ✠; Berrigan, Lindsay I. MA*; Walker, Lisa A. S. PhD; Freedman, Mark S. MD

Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology: September 2010 - Volume 23 - Issue 3 - p 192-198
doi: 10.1097/WNN.0b013e3181cc8bd4
Original Studies

Objective To compare the ability of the Computerized Test of Information Processing (CTIP) to detect impaired cognitive processing speed in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) with a traditional 3.0 second Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT) and the Adjusting-PASAT which allows for calculation of a speed score.

Background A primary cognitive deficit in MS is an impaired ability to process information quickly. Unfortunately, relatively few clinical tests effectively measure information processing speed. Of these, the PASAT is generally acknowledged to be the most sensitive, but use of this test is constrained by several factors.

Methods All tests were administered to 30 adults with relapsing-remitting MS and 30 control participants.

Results A series of analysis of variances revealed MS participants performed significantly worse than controls on the CTIP and the 3.0 second PASAT, whereas no significant difference was observed for the Adjusting-PASAT.

Conclusions The results suggest the CTIP can detect deficits in the speed at which people with MS process information. Thus, the CTIP offers an alternative means to the 3.0 second PASAT included in the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite for assessing such impairment.

*Department of Psychology, Carleton University

The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

This research was funded by a pilot grant from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

Reprints: Lindsay I. Berrigan (nee Reicker), MA, Department of Psychology, Carleton University, B550 Loeb Building, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6, Canada (e-mail:

Received for publication May 23, 2009; accepted November 22, 2009

✠The authors thank Dr Tom Tombaugh, who unexpectedly passed away before the publication of this work. Dr Tombaugh was an exceptional researcher and a good friend who made not only substantial contributions to our collaborations but to the field of neuropsychology. He will be sadly missed.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.