Cognitive and Mood Changes

Cognitive problems occur in more than half of people with MS. Like other MS symptoms, it is highly likely that, over time and with duration of disease, cognition will be affected. Cognitive changes vary greatly from person to person, and advanced physical disease does not necessarily mean advanced cognitive decline.

This section will help you recognise cognitive dysfunction, understand the impact of cognitive dysfunction on your loved one and the family, and provide you with some practical suggestions to manage cognitive challenges.

It will also briefly discuss altered mood states, euphoria, and altered levels of consciousness as sometimes seen in advanced multiple sclerosis.

If you have concerns about cognitive changes in your loved one contact your local Occupational Therapist or GP for an appropriate referral. 

What is meant by cognitive dysfunction?

Cognition involves knowing, thinking, remembering and reasoning abilities. The five senses are used to gather information, organise and store that information, and give it back in the form of expressive ability. Cognitive changes in MS range from mild short-term memory problems and easy distractibility, to difficulties with planning and problem solving.

Quickness, cleverness, being “on the ball”, sharp - these are attributes of the mind that can be sacrificed to MS cognitive dysfunction and can often be seen in advanced MS.

Read more about memory clinics and mood changes.

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