Cognitive changes are common in people with MS. In MS, certain functions are more likely to be affected than others: memory, attention and concentration, information gathering, word-finding, etc. Trained health professional, such as neuropsychologist, speech/ language pathologist, or occupational therapist may be able to evaluate and treat cognitive dysfunction.
Tips for cognitive dysfunction:
- Tame your environment: adjust lightening, turn off the TV or music, and eliminate the clutter in your life.
- Keep visual reminders. Use calendars or post-it notes.
- Check in with others. Ask if people understand what you are saying.
- Get creative. Sing a song to try to remember something.
- Stay cool. Some patients with MS report having more cognitive symptoms when the heat is worse.
- Stay mentally stimulated: write poetry, do a puzzle, and keep learning.
- Be patient.
- National MS Society: Cognitive Dysfunction
- Book: Understanding the Cognitive Challenges
- You Can...Back Up Your Memory
- You Can...Remember
- MS and the Mind
- Book: Mental Sharpening Stones
- MS Trust Staying Smart
- Book: Facing Cognitive Changes
- Cognitive Meltdown: How You, Your Family & Your Friends Face MS Together
Depression frequently occurs during the course of multiple sclerosis. Many studies have suggested that clinical depression is more common among people with MS, compared to the general population. It is important for patient living with MS to be aware of the symptoms of major depression:
- Sadness and or irritability
- Loss of interest or pleasure in everyday activities
- Loss of appetite or an increase in appetite
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Anxiety or excessive rumination
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Problems with thinking or concentration
- Persistent thoughts of death or suicide.
- Book: MS and Your Feelings
- National MS Society: Depression
- Multiple Sclerosis and Depression
- Depression: managing symptoms
- Coping Well