How do you know when you are finding your memory to fail that it is MS or something worse. I am forgetting where I have put things and also peoples names. I know their faces but cannot remember what to call them. When people say ‘do you remember that’ I say yes but I cannot. I am 65 this year so I know my memory will get worse but little things that I am forgetting is really worrying me.

Hello Rosemarie

My memory is dreadful. Apparently the typical MS brain shrinks quicker than it would do in people without MS. So in a way it’s like accelerated ageing. Your cognitive abilities are worse than they should be.

It makes the short term memory fail quite easily and also affects processing speed. This is why concentrating on single tasks is so important. When there are more things to concentrate on at once (multi-tasking), we often fail. So the same would apply if there are groups of people all talking at once.

I lose track of where I am in a sentence. So I’ll start talking, say ‘you know where the …’ then forget what I was going to say next. Or swear blind X did not happen, when it did. Completely forget events, people, what I’ve done or said. I can’t follow TV shows as I’ve forgotten the plot by the following week. We’ve tried to record an entire TV series and watch one episode per night over a week, but by day 3 I’m lost. I don’t remember the plot of books I read last year (or last month, even last week).

But there are something’s I remember very clearly. The other day my OH said ‘what’s the name of the chap who owns that carpet business?’ And I remembered. Amazingly, it’s not like I knew him well. And some events from years ago are clear in my head (some aren’t but that could be because they weren’t very memorable, or alcohol was involved!) Occasionally it’s something that only happened the other day and I remembered it. I forget things I’ve written too, for example I write a lot on this forum but I regularly forget what I’ve written and read a post from a few weeks ago as if it was written by a stranger.

And I’m aged 51.

You could ask your GP or (more likely) neurologist, for a referral to a neuropsychologist for an assessment. It should be a complete assessment, not one of their 20 minute tests (which I have also had and they are in my opinion, pointless). The psychologist should be able to pinpoint what you are having trouble with and ascertain whether it is all caused by MS.


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Thank you for your reply. I’m not the only one then!!! Yes I probably will as the GP for a referral. It could be when I very fatigued - Im just making excuses - It is just very strange quite a few things have happened this weekend. That’s when I thought to myself - oh my god - I have forgotten again!!! I was looking for my keys this morning when I looked around and they were in the lock (where they are every morning) Why did I not remember and why was I looking for them. Oh dear I will see how it goes.

hi rosemarie

i set out to the shop and forget what i went for, only to remember it on the way home!

but i can remember very random facts.

eg who sang such and such a song - i always remember even if i hated that song.

the trick is to trust your instinct even though it doesn’t feel like it’s correct.

carole x

oh and everybody is ageing, so a lot of people have the same problems with memory and the rest will get theirs at some point.

Seems that vitamin B12 is helpful (for everyone not just MS folk) for this sort of thing. Definitely worth using in my humble opinion. Often wonder why we (MSers) aren’t informed/advised about this sort of thing but have to discover it ourselves.I take 1 tablet every morning. Research it online and make up your minds. xx

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What I want to know is why we retain the lyrics from some truly dreadful music in our brains yet forget other useful stuff!

Hi Rosemarie, yep, afraid it’s all part of MS and ageing. I could mirror Sue’s post. An example: 8.45-9 a.m.get out of bed, go to kitchen & put the kettle on. Reach for Teabag & sugar, put them on work surface. Reach for a mug, milk & teaspoon. Need the loo so go to bathroom. Wash hands, then wash my face & start to get dressed, brush teeth & house phone rings. Wrap dressing gown around me to take the call. After that I go to my wardrobe for the rest of my clothes in bedroom. There, notice bed unmade, so I’ll make the bed up. Then get dressed, forgot some stuff in the bathroom, return there & see messy hair. Sort hair out, facial creams and go to lounge to sort daily meds, need a drink for these so go to the kitchen, realise the kettle has gone cold, I hadn’t made a cuppa and not had my breakfast. Stayed in kitchen to do all I’d forgotten, realised it’s 11.30. Forgot about the phone call, read through called list to return the call.

Ah Rosemary, that’s only a couple of hours, the rest of the day & evening is the same. I’m contstantly retracing my steps! Still, my family is used to it nowadays.