Instead, MS-related attention problems are often related to multitasking or to quickly switching the attention back and forth between competing thoughts or tasks. For example, people with MS can become extremely distracted if someone talks to them while they are doing household chores. This type of cognitive problem can arise for several reasons, LaRocca says. In addition, due to short-term memory problems, they can lose their train of thought and momentarily forget where they were in a task. If you have attention problems associated with MS, try these expert-recommended tips to help stay focused:.
Multiple Sclerosis Foundation - Cognitive Challenges of Multiple Sclerosis
Avoid multitasking. Multitasking is especially difficult for people with MS-related attention problems, Dr. Gingold takes that one step further. Minimize distractions. Find a quiet place to do work, keep eye contact with people you are talking with, and turn off the television and remove other stimulation when you need to focus, Dr. Kalb advises. Get plenty of sleep. Fatigue impacts your cognitive functioning, so make sure you get sufficient rest. Work with your healthcare team to learn strategies to minimize disruptions in your sleep. The improvements were mirrored by a change in the activation of some areas of the brain, assessed by functional MRI studies.
It has recently been adopted and recommended by the American Academy of Neurology, further cementing its place as the go-to testing battery for this condition. Feasible, effective and inexpensive means of assessing cognition are absolutely crucial to patient management, disease monitoring and assessing the effects of interventions. The development of BICAMS has started a small but powerful revolution in bringing cognition to the forefront of MS management, shedding light on its effect on quality of life. People living with MS are only set to benefit from its increasing uptake by both clinicians and researchers.
Cognitive assessment offers a range of benefits. It is known that cognitive status at diagnosis predicts how fast the disease will progress and so clinics can monitor patients more closely. Positive lifestyle choices and regular mentally stretching activities can protect against cognitive decline and cognitive assessment can form the basis of coaching people with MS to adopt these helpful behaviours. People with MS who have cognitive impairment are less likely to manage their disease well, including medication, and once alerted to cognitive impairment, clinics can present information in a way that is easy to assimilate and monitor disease management.
Cognitive impairment makes problems at work and unemployment more likely and clinics can refer for appropriate help.
Cognitive impairment increases risks of falling and driving accidents, and clinics can act to reduce these risks. She is passionate about raising awareness of the cognitive impact of MS and using international collaboration to create meaningful progress. What inspired your work in this area? Partly I think it is because physical symptoms are immediately apparent to other people, for example using a walking stick or wheelchair.
Also, cognitive difficulties can be hard to admit to and to talk about. The pattern of cognitive difficulties in multiple sclerosis is not clear in conversation or even clinic consultations. Memory is also often affected. However, everyday language functions are often pretty much OK.
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This means in casual conversations, nothing seems wrong. Because MS cognitive difficulties are not on the surface, they tend to get overlooked. I think a shared purpose and understanding across nationalities creates bonds, trust and energy.
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We published two consensus papers. Secondly, committed health care workers realised that a brief, feasible and psychometrically sound cognitive measure would be very useful in their practice.
Thinking Problems and MS
What advice would you give others about to embark on a similar project i. I think a broadly based, expert consensus group to back and author the project is essential. Encouraging engagement and offering support to centres as and how they need it is essential, so everyone can be involved at the level, and as independently, as they choose to be. Novartis have kindly funded a UK first implementer study. Because of the way the disease progresses and the parts of the central nervous system it affects, people with MS-related cognitive dysfunction will often experience the impairment of memory, attention, concentration, information processing, visual perception, verbal skills, and such executive functions as planning or prioritizing.
Symptoms of MS-related cognitive impairment can vary from person to person. Moreover, the severity and frequency of symptoms may also fluctuate, ranging from intermittent events to more persistent, debilitating disorders.
danardono.com.or.id/libraries/2020-02-25/gah-what-is-the.php Cognitive problems are sometimes severe enough to interfere with work or any situation that requires quick or complex thinking. Even in social situations, awkwardness and anxiety can develop as the signs of dysfunction become more apparent. Isolation is not uncommon. While many of the symptoms of MS-associated cognitive impairment mirror those of other conditions like attention-deficit disorder ADD or social anxiety disorder SAD , the causes are very different.
MS is characterized by an abnormal immune response which causes the progressive damage to the protective coating of nerve cells myelin sheath and the formation of lesions throughout parts of the central nervous system. There is no specific test to confirm a diagnosis of cognitive impairment, although some tests may be done and their results considered along with other factors. Many doctors diagnose mild cognitive impairment MCI based on the following criteria developed by a panel of international experts:. As part of your physical exam, your doctor may perform some neurological tests that indicate how well your brain and nervous system are working.
In some cases, he or she may order magnetic resonance imaging or a computed tomography CT scan to check for evidence of a brain tumor, stroke, or bleeding. Research on the treatment of cognitive impairment in MS is still in the early stages. Current disease-modifying drugs may provide some relief by preventing the progression of the disease. Other experimental treatments are being explored but, to date, none have been shown to actively reverse the symptoms of impairment. This doesn't mean there is nothing you can do. In fact, by becoming better aware of your condition, you can often find ways to "work around" any challenges you may be facing and adjust your lifestyle to better cope.
Furthermore, while cognitive skills may be affected by MS, other brain functions such as intellect, conversational skills, reading comprehension, and long-term memory usually remain untouched. Get tips and advice on how you can live a full and happy life with MS.
Gingold, J. National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Managing Cognitive Problems in MS. Washington, D.