Cognitive Functioning

According to George Jellinek (author of Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis) ‘decline in cognitive function’ is common in m.s. and ‘the ability to make decisions’ can be affected, even in very early stages.

My biggest problem as a student was having great difficulty with exams - revising and retaining information and then formulating answers and getting them completed in a given time was hard. Similarly job interviews etc were a disaster because of the difficulty in responding in a pressure situation. (I know most people find these situations stressful but the problems I had were mega-difficult.)

Apart form that I think my cognitive functioning is o.k. and I don’t think my ability to make decisions has been too badly affected.

Most of the messages on this site are sensible and understandable and I guess most of us know our times tables - how many pence in the pound - how to manage our financial affairs - believe Churchill is doing a great job as PM ! - etc.

Does anyone else feel their cognitive function has declined?

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Yes! I had an episode today at the dentist. The woman I see is the first to take the effects of MS into account when it comes to problems with cleaning my teeth. Today I was suffering something like a pseudo relapse. When I tried to explain how I was feeling I suddenly had difficulty getting my thoughts in order. Then I had difficulty actually saying the words. It was a bit scary.

Other than that, memory can be an issue. I sometimes need to take painkillers several times in a day. I can’t always remember which ones I took or when I took them. There have been times when I haven’t dared to take the tablets I needed for fear of an overdose. Long term memory is fine, it’s the short term things that I have problems with.

Oh crumbs, yes. My cognitive ability (such as it ever was) went down the pan fast once MS came to call, and my ability to do my job properly went down the pan with it. To be honest, I had become pretty useless at work ages before I was finally pensioned off, which was pretty grim and not fun. Bloody MS.


Me too. Luckily I could take voluntary redundancy and early retirement from work last year so I could bow out gracefully before things got really bad because I had noticed I was finding it harder to take all the workplace changes on board. Day to day decisions and the things I have to deal with at home are no problem at all but I worked for a bank and things were changing almost daily. It was all too much.

I never did have a good retentive memory even at school so exams were always a problem!