There is definitely a connection between MS and cognitive problems. I think there’s an MS Trust booklet about it.
I have fairly mild cognitive problems, instead of being able to do several things simultaneously (ie multitask), I now have to focus on what I’m doing and do only that. This even includes walking. So if I’m typing a post on here for instance, and my OH asks or tells me something, I just can’t understand what he’s said. It drives him crazy. We now have a saying in our house that ‘only men can multitask’. Sadly, in this house it’s true.
I’ve always been a reader, I have to have a book on the go and read fairly widely and voraciously. But I now find that I just don’t remember the plot of a book that I read a couple of years ago. And this happens again and again. On the one hand it saves me money as I can re-read the same books, but it’s very annoying, to know that I’ve read the first two novels in a series (and liked them enough to put the author in a watch list on the kindle price drop tracker); start a new book and know I’ve read the previous two but have absolutely no memory of them. I’ve just had this happen yet again, started a book, read a quarter of it, then realised some of the characters were in the authors previous novel which I read 3 years ago. I re-read the first book and was stunned by not remembering a good 80% of the book. I had a basic memory of a couple of the characters, but didn’t know what was going to happen, didn’t see the plot twists and was honestly surprised by the ending. This has crept up on me over the past few years and is the biggest indicator of the cognitive difference in me. I can still remember the plots of books I read as a young woman, even as a child. I can even continue reading a series if the characters are firmly in my head from before the memory problems began. It’s just new books. I’m still continuing to read though, it’s what I’ve done all my life, and at least it costs less this way.
I think problem solving is less of an issue, mostly perhaps because I don’t have to do so much of it these days! I certainly worry more about things that I’ll have to deal with in the future (such as the dreaded change from DLA to PIP).
I’m sorry I don’t have any solutions, apart from keeping lists, reminders, keeping a diary (mostly for health related things) as well as a calendar. Owning a smart phone is one of the most brilliant aides to the memory challenged, I use it for everything.