Saturday, November 21, 2009

cognitive function multiple sclerosis

“It’s one of the most sensitive topics among people with MS—we’re talking about how MS affects your mind, about cognitive function …”

Cognitive changes are thought to affect about half of those who have MS ….”

MS and the mind: The latest research on cognitive function 

Reading through the above article in National Multiple Sclerosis Society MOMENTUM magazine, winter ’09-’10, I had mixed feelings. Certainly I was glad to read of 4 pages of current and pending research yet I was baffled as to why the ‘major players’ have been so slow in coming around.

Last winter the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation invited me to write an entry for their MS FOCUS magazine entitled A CAREGIVER’S PERSPECTIVE, MS AND COGNITION
   “…We were swamped in physical adaptations, and in the early and mid-1990s, cognitive problems associated with MS were simply not mentioned very often…”

In the NMSS Momentum article under “treating cognitive change” they mention looking at drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. A study of donepezil (Aricept) is recruiting people with all types of MS.

Six years ago Patti’s nurse practitioner suggested trying Aricept. Her neurologist hemmed and hawed about lack of research but acquiesced. Not only has Aricept slowed cognitive progression to the eye of the observer but it has demonstrated through MRIs a slowing of rate of cerebral atrophy.

The frustration with cognitive function is that the person affected is the last to be aware. Family, friends, and medical contacts have to find a way to cross this line. I am not sure that patience is a virtue in fighting this symptom of Multiple Sclerosis.
“Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most” Mark Twain
video: Multiple Sclerosis cognitive challenges (3:23)

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
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