Monday, April 18, 2011

cognition help by Krista Olson

I wanted to post something about cognition. I do not know where I saw it, but I saw that you had concerns about mild cognitive changes. Please forgive me for the therapist talk. MS does cause mild cognitive changes as well as our medications, fatigue, mental health, and overall medical status. Your cognitive functioning may fluctuate especially during times when your MS worsens. Common complaints I see and experience as well as problems with short term memory, organizing your thoughts, thinking of words you want to say, trouble concentrating/paying attention, being easily distracted, and problems completing tasks to name a few.

What I recommend for high level patients like myself and most of us is to first look at what kind of phone do you have. Most of us have some type of smart phone, i.e. i-phone, blackberry, droid,or even a phone with internet access. If you have a phone with internet access or a smart phone, you have access to a calender with an alarm feature. Highly recommend it. If you do not know where it is, take it to the store where you got it and they can help you. I also recommend downloading some applications for your phone. There are many out there that can help with storing your medical information, taking notes, and even recording conversations. If you do not want to use a phone, a good planner with a section for notes works to as well. Get used to writing things down and making lists to help you remember things. Routine, structure, and organization is the key. I have a list of my medications on my phone. I recommend that people make a list of questions they have before going to the doctor and recording the discussion with the physician. If you need to, have then print answers to your questions. Yes, they can and will do this. If they don't you need a new doctor.

If you want to do things to target your cognition, there are brain exercises/ cognitive games on the computer. Google brain games or cognitive games, and some of them are even free. A higher level one that I recommend that people consider purchase is Luminosity. The app only cost .99 cents on my phone, and you can purchase the full program on your computer. It is not very expensive. Search MS sites to as well because I have found cognitive games on them as well. If computer is not your thing, even playing board games, scrabble, and others such as outburst, etc. can help with cognitive functioning. If you do not use it you lose it. Crossword puzzles are also good as well as that puzzle game that people are playing. I forget the name, but it is something asian sounding. Sorry for the long post, but I hope this helps someone. If you are have fluctuations, you are not crazy and remember it will fluctuate and worsen depending on how you are feeling overall.

Sorry for the long post. I am a speech pathologist, and we are very verbose by nature.

No comments:

Post a Comment