patoms 31/01/18
Last reply 2 months ago
Cognition Impairment – Can it heal?

Hi everyone,
I just got my cognition testing results back. I have borderline impairment in:
1. Digits Forward and Digits BAckwqrd (visio spatial, central executive, phonological loop)
2. Attention Quotient (auditory, Visual)
3. Boston Naming Test
4. Visio-Spatial / Perceptual Skills
5. RBANS Line Orientation Test

I’m American, so these may not be familiar for some of you. For those of you who have had similar cognitive testing results, have you been able, over time, to improve them, to rehabilitate? I have decided to take at least the next year off to heal and rehabilitate. I worked in financial services, so having these deficiencies hurts. And in the day to day, I do notice my poor short term memory and trouble concentrating.

Thank you all for your very thoughtful responses. I very much appreciation them. You are all my Trans-Atlantic MS brothers and sisters camrades in arms!

Fight the good fight….God speed.

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2 months ago

I appreciate your problems in this respect, @patoms . But, once we have acknowledged a problem, then we can start managing it effectively.

Good luck with this. And keep fighting.

2 months ago

Hi there @patoms. I know some of these tests through my work in education. I regard myself as a reasonably able and intelligent person, but let me tell you, even before MS, I used to flunk visuospatial and digit recall tests! I have never had those strengths, so don’t beat yourself up about the results. Also, The process of growing older will have an impact on these faculties. And, my husband is fit, well and healthy but since turning 50 his memory has caused some issues!

I find that playing word games on my tablet for 15 minute bursts really helps keep my adeptness up, even when I was having a relapse. Or singing along to songs you love. Or, even maintaining lists and then checking them off really helps connect you to life and purpose when you are feeling drained and poorly. It’s the simple things, just like me, really! X

2 months ago

Totally agree with the above comments – there’s an awful lot of people out there who would score similarly without the burden of MS! I’m pretty sure mental state and physical fitness play their part, too. Low mood and an inactive body are very unhelpful – so taking time out to heal is a really good idea. Lots of luck and let us know how you get on. x

2 months ago

A lot of research is being done right now in developing new pathways in the brain so you can relearn lost abilities. I would do some research and find out what trials are having the best results. I did Luminosity for two years but my math and spelling scores kept dropping so I dropped it when my two years were up. It was just to depressing, that was several years ago. One of the things that MSers are doing now to help with cognitive skills are playing with Lego’s or a similar type of toy. Potter

2 months ago

I’ll echo what people said above that borderline impairment is probably within the normal range of results non-MSers would get on the same test. Keeping your brain active by reading and doing different types of puzzles won’t hurt though, as long as they’re relevant to everyday life!

If you want to do some googling about the brain’s ability to adapt and heal somewhat, the term you’d need to use is “neural plasticity”. The brain is ‘plastic’, ie non-rigid or set in its ways, in how circuits for different bodily functions are wired and these circuits and connections can change over time. The brain doesn’t totally re-wire itself but can repurpose parts of the brain that are less used to create new circuits during the process of learning new skills. For example, it’s been shown that amputees re-purpose the part of their brain that would have controlled the lost limb to instead co-ordinate control of their prothetic limb. The motor skills needed to control the prothetic are different than the ones needed for the original limb, hence the need for re-wiring to take place. As this progresses, use of the prosthetic would become more like second nature and require less conscious effort. That’s an extreme example, but hopefully it illustrates how the brain can adapt over time in response to big changes. However, just like the time taken to learn to use a prosthetic proficiently, it’ll take time

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