Living With Multiple Sclerosis
“Living with Multiple Sclerosis” by Piet Mesmer
Page 31 of 100
10. Cognitive Impairment in Multiple Sclerosis
What is cognitive impairment?
Cognition means thinking and includes our ability to pay attention,
learn, solve, express, and remember. These functions can be
impaired by multiple sclerosis.
Research led to the fact that this illness can affect the way the mind
works, particularly the cognitive power of the brain.
Almost one-half of people suffering from multiple sclerosis have
some cognitive impairment. As much as 80% of the people with this
disease show the signs of moderate symptoms, such as having
some difficulty when remembering a list of items to buy or
performing mental activities in a distracting environment.
The rest may suffer from a more severe condition and may even be
unable to work or do some of their daily activities.
Causes of Cognitive Impairment in Multiple Sclerosis
Stress, anxiety and depression can lead to us being unable to
remember or pay attention. The cognitive dysfunction in this illness
is due to the changes in the brain. Multiple sclerosis produces
lesions that affect the electrical impulses transmitted across the
nerve cells. A person with just a few lesions may not experience any
cognitive dysfunction but someone with many lesions could
experience marked cognitive dysfunctions.
Diagnosis of Cognitive Impairment
With the help of neuropsychological examination, medical
practitioners can diagnose cognitive impairment. A
neuropsychological examination is a series of cognitive tests.
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