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Cognitive Dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis

Cognitive Dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis - Other Rare Causes of Dementia - Other forms of dementia - Dementia - Alzheimer Europe

Other Rare Causes of Dementia
by Clive Ever

There has been a lot of recent research into changes in cognition due to MS and it is now evident that such changes do occur and that they are more common than was previously thought. Cognition is about our abilities in thinking things through and how well our memory works.

Cognition is also about how to focus and to maintain our attention; the way we learn and remember new things; how we think reason and solve problems. It also concerns how we plan and carry out our activities; the way we understand and use language and how well we recognise objects, assemble things together and judge distances.

The brain damage in MS is different to that in e.g. Alzheimer’s type dementia and so the problems shown are different. Although the problems may not amount to full dementia they can cause significant disruption to the lives of patients. In studies of MS patients with and without cognitive dysfunction, those with have been shown to be more significantly impaired with respect to work, sexual and social functioning and basic activities of daily living.

Cognitive Dysfunction is one of the more scary symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.

Cognitive Dysfunction - multiple sclerosis encyclopaedia
Cognitive Dysfunction is one of the more scary symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. It used to be thought that cognitive dysfunction was relatively rare symptom of the disease but it is now understood to be quite a common feature.

Among the reasons that it's frequency was formerly underestimated is that the dysfunction is often mild, cognition is a very complex subject and, in the past, physicians have felt more comfortable denying its existence to their patients. Things have changed over the past few years. Rather than lumping cognitive dysfunction in the same bracket as fatigue and depression, it is now studied on its own. Cognitive evaluation techniques have also improved greatly and now proper studies into cognitive dysfunction in MS are beginning to be done.