good times. met and re-met a lot of folks tonight. remember,
need i say a damn thing.
whole buncha excuses as to why i may forget if we have met... i apologize...
Cognition is basically another word for ‘thinking’. It includes many different functions, including our abilities to pay attention, learn and remember information, solve problems, and use language to express our ideas.
It is reported that 50% of people with MS admit to experiencing cognitive problems to some degree or another, rising to 80% if we include the most severe cases.
The most frequent cognitive abnormalities in MS are subtle defects in abstraction, memory, attention and word finding. They are usually associated with Pseudobulbar Affect (Emotional Lability) and decreased speed on information processing. Thought processes of the brain are interconnected to the conscious areas of the brain via myelinated nerves. There can be problems transporting memories and processing of thoughts creating difficulties with concentration and reasoning-“I have the concentration span of a gnat,” is a familiar phrase to many. A certain amount of short term memory loss or forgetting to do things is also common.
Recent surveys have shown that mood disorders and depression are frequent in people with MS. An association may exist between MS and manic-depressive disease (bipolar disorder). Reactive depression is also common in MS.
One example of a cognition issue is when a person will be mid-sentence, then the next word they are about to utter will have eluded them and they are rendered speechless for seconds until they remember that word, if in fact they do remember it at all.
Another example is that many find themselves insisting on finishing a sentence before another person speaks, not out of sense of rudeness but merely because if they are interrupted, they may forget what they are talking about or lose their train of thought. This can be very frustrating to the person with MS and other people involved in the conversation so it is important to establish a relationship where there is an element of awareness of the problem on the part of others.
The third example is of memory loss, or to use a less harsh term, ‘forgetfulness’, which can be very frightening to a bright individual and his or her carer. Sometimes a person can feel as if they are no longer the same person inside as they had been prior to MS. This is a fallacy and with awareness of the condition from carers, spouses, friends and relatives, this fear can be allayed, though many people with MS need constant re-assurance of how they and others perceive themselves regarding, ‘dottiness’. At the risk of trivialising what is an upsetting feature of MS, many find they can laugh off this newly found trait.