What are the effects of MS on cognitive function?

Cognitive function is our ability to think, process information, make decisions, concentrate, and remember facts. Good cognitive function is essential for everyday activities at home or at work.

About 50% of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have some changes in cognitive function due to the medical condition. The severity of the changes and the affected areas of the brain vary between people. The changes may start slowly and may first be noticed by friends and family as changes in personal habits or behaviour.

It is not unusual for some areas of the brain to be severely affected while other areas are normal. About 5% to 10% of people with MS will have changes severe enough to affect their ability to function. Although changes in cognitive function usually occur in people who have had MS for a long time, they may also be seen earlier in the course of the condition. The severity of the changes may vary within the same person over time, and it is not related to the severity of physical symptoms caused by MS.

Memory is the part of cognitive function that is most often affected. Other areas of the brain that are affected include those responsible for the speed of information processing, the ability to plan and prioritize, visual perception, problem solving and decision-making, concentration, and the ability to find words. Multitasking (shifting back and forth between different tasks) and dividing attention between different tasks may also become more difficult.

These cognitive function changes affect many people with MS and can have an effect on their lives at home and at work.

If you are concerned about the risk of physical disability and cognitive impairment, talk to your doctor. You can work together to find ways to live with MS.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Cognitive-Function