The effect that multiple sclerosis can have on cognition


The effect that multiple sclerosis can have on cognition

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that can impact the brain and also the spinal cord, therefore causing a range of symptoms. The symptoms experienced can vary widely in presentation and intensity, however some of the main symptoms include fatigue, motor problems, and cognitive issues. These cognitive issues may include problems with thinking, learning, and planning. People with MS typically either have their symptoms come and go in episodes, or instead they might get progressively worse over time. Here at the London Neurocognitive Clinic, we are able to help individuals with a diagnosis of MS and can provide support and rehabilitation for difficulties that people may be facing.

People don’t always necessarily associate MS with cognitive symptoms, which can cause difficulties when accurately recognising and treating the symptoms an individual may be experiencing. Therefore, if you have been diagnosed with MS and are experiencing cognitive difficulties, visiting a neuropsychologist could be a really important step! Neuropsychologists are specially trained to treat cognitive, emotional, and behavioural difficulties in relation to changes in brain functioning, and then we can provide you with a treatment plan to help alleviate some of the symptoms. We can also assess difficulties that may be closely related to, but not directly caused by, MS, such as symptoms of depression and anxiety. These can also contribute to cognitive problems, for example, depression is known to slow down people’s thinking. This demonstrates the importance of adopting a holistic perspective when treating symptoms of MS.

If you have booked an appointment with us, the first appointment will typically include a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment. This will include different in-depth tasks that may test cognitive areas such as your memory, attention, and concentration. By completing these tasks, our neuropsychologists are able to obtain a good understanding of areas where you may be struggling, which can provide an excellent basis for neurorehabilitation. When you complete the neuropsychological assessment, we can also note areas you perform particularly strongly in, and we can use these to help enhance the neurorehabilitation as well.

The neurorehabilitation we may offer for MS can vary on an individual basis, however, typically involves strengthening brain function and working to retrain neural pathways that may have been damaged, which has found to be very beneficial. We may also take a look at some compensatory strategies that may be useful for you and that minimise the effect that your symptoms have. For example, if you are struggling with remembering certain things, it can be helpful to use diaries or establishing a fixed routine. If you demonstrated strong language skills, these can be used to support your memory, for example, by using verbal associations to aid your memory.

Therefore, through assessing and recognising cognitive difficulties associated with MS, at the London Neurocognitive Clinic, we can help support you and improve the effects of these symptoms, which can also improve your quality of life as a result.

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