Cognition is another word for thinking. It was once believed that cognitive symptoms in MS were uncommon, but in the last ten years or so, researchers have learned that cognition can indeed be affected by the disease. People with MS often report having trouble coming up with a word in conversation or remembering things, such as items to purchase at the grocery store.
About one-half of people with MS have cognitive difficulties. However, for the majority of these people, thinking problems are mild. It is believed that those who have a large number of lesions in their brain are more at risk for experiencing cognitive difficulties. Here are some of the cognitive symptoms seen in MS:
Problems with memory
Problems with concentration
Problems with planning and problem solving
Problems with visuospatial skills
Slower processing of thoughts
Cognitive deficits are more common in people who have changes in the cerebrum than in people who have changes in the cerebellum, brain stem, and spinal cord alone.