Warm weather may hinder learning, memory, and other thinking tasks in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to results released from a Kessler Foundation study.

“This is the first research to show a possible link between warm weather and cognition, or thinking skills in people with the disease," says Victoria M. Leavitt, PhD, principle investigator , and postdoctoral fellow at Kessler Foundation, West Orange, NJ. "With more research, this information might help guide people with MS in making life decisions and assist their doctors in choosing clinical treatment. Scientists may also want to consider the effect of warmer weather on cognition when conducting clinical trials.”

The study tested memory and processing speed of 40 individuals with MS and 40 healthy people without MS. Brain scans were also performed. The study was conducted throughout the calendar year, and the daily temperature at the time of testing was recorded.

The results showed that people with MS scored 70% higher on the tests on cooler days. There was no connection between daily temperature and performance on the thinking tests for healthy individuals without MS.

Kessler Foundation Research Center conducts research that improves function and quality of life for people with injuries of the spinal cord and brain, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and other chronic neurological and orthopedic conditions. Kessler Foundation supports programs that promote the employment of people with disabilities through its Program Center’s Transition to Work Signature and Community Employment Grants.

[Source: Kessler Foundation]