Are symptoms usually worse in the evening/at night?

Hi everyone,

My mum has MS and has recently been getting more confused at night (for example, she put stain remover on a cheesecake and tried to eat it a few nights ago and her speech is a bit slurred). I am trying to work out whether this is an MS symptom, side effect of her getting her medicines wrong (for both MS and other help conditions) as this has happened in the past and pre-MS, alcohol related or a combination of the above. Has anyone else found that MS symptoms, especially surrounding confusion and memory, are worse in the evening and at night?

Thank you for any help in advance!

Some symptoms are likely to be affected by fatigue, especially cognitive symptoms, like memory and confusion, so are likely to be worse in the evenings. But your mother sounds very confused, perhaps more than would normally be caused by fatigue. Has she been drinking a lot? And do you know what drugs she’s taking, and the dosage? Perhaps it would be a good thing to check her medication and the dosage of different pills. Make sure she’s not taking more than she should be of anything. You could also see if there are any that shouldn’t be mixed together and/or with alcohol? Perhaps ask a pharmacist?

If you rule out drug and alcohol problems as a cause of her confusion, then it sounds as though she needs some help. Do you live with your mother? Or does she live with anyone else? Is she normally more clear headed? If so, then perhaps you could gently raise the subject with her. It’s possible she has noticed herself and is worried about her cognitive function.

Ultimately if it’s the mix of drugs causing the problem, then you/she needs to get that addressed by her GP. If there’s an alcohol problem, then you’ll need to tread carefully as no one likes being told their drinking is a problem. But if it’s neither of those, really the GP or neurologist would need to refer her to a neuro-psychologist.

This whole area is one that calls for a very light and sensitive touch. If your mother isn’t aware that there’s a problem, then it could be very upsetting, so treat her gently.

Best of luck.


Thank you for taking the time to reply!

I am a university student so live with my mum on and off, other than that she lives alone. My brothers and I try and get home regularly so between us she never has to go too long without a visit from one of us.

We’ve had a chat about what we think if could be and it seems most likely none of my initial thoughts! She had extremely severe asthma and which in the past has made her hypoxic (also causing confusion). We checked her oxygen stats last night and they were well below where they should be. It can be confusing when different conditions have similar symptoms.

Thanks again.

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Sue gives good advice.

I find the opposite. I am now useless in the mornings. I’m not sure if I try to do too much but I can get mixed up with things. I’m now resigned to the fact that I need a good long sit down before doing anything.

It’s always worth seeing the GP. You might need to be creative in the reasoning for this. Perhaps use fatigue as the motive.


For me the mornings are very stiff, especially first hour or so, then I sort of just get on with it, but by about 3 or 4pm I get very fatigued, my legs dont have any strength left in them.

Usually by around 4pm I’m feeling totally wiped out.

My memory isnt as good as it used to but not affected by the cocktail of meds I take, so I put that down to age.

For me MS is all about poor mobility, fatigue and poor sensation in my hands, but mainly its the mobility, loss of strength ect.

My MS clinic always ask about my memory and speech though, so obviously MS can effect those areas.