Topic / News

Staying Smart - Dr Keryn Taylor

Anywhere across the spectrum of thought, attention and memory, the cognitive problems associated with MS can be frightening and frustrating. Here, Dr Keryn Taylor gives an overview of the condition, tips for staying on top of it, and recommendations for further reading

I recently received an email asking for advice about MS related cognitive problems. Cognition refers to difficulties with thinking, attention and memory. Sometimes people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) describe feeling like they have 'brain fog'.

Cognitive symptoms of MS

MS can directly cause cognitive symptoms. However symptoms can also be caused or magnified by other factors. I would recommend to anyone worried about cognitive symptoms that they see a doctor to rule out and potentially treat any alternative causes.

Many other physical health problems and some medications prescribed for MS can affect our cognition. Although cognitive problems can be frightening and frustrating it is important to remember that there is a lot we can do to improve our cognition.

The really great news is that by being on the OMS programme we are already doing a lot to maintain and improve our cognition.

As we know, the OMS diet and omega 3 is key for good brain health. Exercise is another great way to stay smart. You can read more about the benefits of exercise and memory via our website.

Helping with stress and tiredness

Cognitive problems are worse when we feel stressed and tired. Meditation and living mindfully are great ways to bring a sense of calm to our day to day living as well as boosting our energy levels. 

It is also really hard to think clearly if we are feeling anxious or depressed. The OMS program works to prevent anxiety and depression. Meditation, speaking to a close friend, keeping a diary or seeing someone professionally can be really helpful in keeping well.

There are also lots of practical strategies that can help maintain and improve our cognition. There is also the potential for retraining and strengthening our cognitive “fitness” with exercises.

Practical strategies include diaries, prioritizing tasks, and making the most of technology to help us. Check out the links below to read more if you are interested. Be well and have wonderful Christmas.

Keryn Taylor