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ALL ABOUT MS Symptoms of MS (Part 6)

Cognitive disorders

Certain damage to cognitive functions develops in 50% of patients with MS, but only one in ten of these patients will be affected. They develop much slower than they previously thought and do not have to be proportionate to physical damage. There is a very small correlation between the duration of MS and the severity of cognitive impairment; MS exacerbations can also exacerbate cognitive functions that can be repaired with remission of the disease again.

In cognitive disorders, only some functions are affected and they are most often slowed down, not reduced. Most commonly affected is recall and memory, slowing down the speed of thinking and processing information, and the ability to focus and retain attention. Relatively often the ability to solve problems and abstract thinking is reduced. Sometimes there are difficulties in verbal fluid with a pronounced "top of the tongue" phenomenon (a person wants to say something but simply can not remember the proper words).

There is no specific cure for cognitive problems. Patients usually work through different self-help methods, such as recording and repetition of important data, meetings, phone numbers, etc.

In very rare cases, serious cognitive impairments can occur in which the patient is unaware of his disturbances. Sometimes such patients can be emotionally incontinent (without a clear and visible cause, excessively irritable, angry or even sad and payable), or insensitive to the people around them.
People with MS and cognitive impairment are not dementia. Cognitive impairments in MS have nothing to do with Alzheimer's disease and are not similar to it.


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