Thinking and memory problems, also known as cognitive problems, are common in MS. Issues include memory, attention span, planning, decision making, understanding or concentration.
Problems with thinking and memory affect around half of all people with MS. Cognition is the medical term for thinking, and problems with thought and memory are known as cognitive problems. Strategies to compensate for cognitive problems and exercises to train your brain can all help.
You might experience issues with your memory, attention span, planning, decision making, understanding or concentration. Many people with MS talk about 'brain fog' or 'cog-fog' to refer to a sense that their thinking processes are sometimes not as organised or reliable as they used to be before they had MS.
Cognitive problems are often caused directly by MS although they may be the side effect of medication. Other MS symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, or depression can make your cognitive issues worse. Cognitive problems are not the same thing as dementia.
For most people their cognitive symptoms are relatively mild and can fluctuate from day to day. Initially, you may not recognise them as an aspect of your MS and put them down to other reasons such as stress, overwork, tiredness or just getting older.