Thursday, October 30, 2008

MS Brain: What Can Help to Reduce Cognitive Brain Function Problems Resulting from Multiple Sclerosis Attacking the Brain?

MS brain function problems can be a big problem for allowing us to be able to function from day to day after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

Multiple Sclerosis can cause scaring in the brain or possibly even some damage to the neurons in the brain, which can result in several sets of “symptoms” that can make it difficult to function each day. Daily tasks may become more difficult for the person who has been given the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, especially if the brain function problems are more moderate to severe.

Cognitive problems, which are often associated with the MS brain, can include misinterpreting what other people say to you, misinterpreting what you read, being easily confused by things that previously were relatively easy for you (prior to MS), scrambling what you see or read (dyslexia), losing track of what you are talking about in the middle of a sentence, being unable to figure things out (compared to before MS), in addition to memory problems (long term and short term) – to the point where you write yourself a To Do list and don’t remember that you even wrote the list!

These cognitive problems can be mild to severe in nature. Depending on how strongly you are affected, you may still be able to function on your own, to some degree, or you may need more assistance for some daily tasks. If you have more severe cognitive problems, you may end up being more disabled, either from a brain function point of view or maybe even physically disabled, making it difficult or almost impossible for you to function on your own.

How the brain functions can be affected by symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, including how we can misinterpret the information that we take in through our 5 senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching). Our brains are composed predominantly of a large concentration of nerve cells (possibly around 80 to 90 percent of the brain) and our bodies are at least 50 percent of nerve cells. Since MS can cause scarring or nerve damage throughout much of the body, this decreases how well our central nervous system, including the brain, can function enough to interpret the huge amount of information that enters into our brains through the outside world. If we misunderstand or misinterpret some or much of the information that our brains gather, on a daily basis, this can make it very difficult for us to understand the world around us and connect with people and all living and non-living things in the world that we live in.

This can also be unnerving and maybe even frightening for those of us battling with Multiple Sclerosis symptoms, depending on how mild or severe the scarring and/or nerve damage, resulting from MS is for each of our particular cases of Multiple Sclerosis. The scarring or nerve damage can block the signals from the brain to the other parts of the body, or it can even cause certain parts of the brain to function very little.

The medical community, overall, used to think that the brain became fixed in the way that it functioned as you grew older and this made it impossible to change anything when it came to how our brains tend to decline in functionality as both our bodies and our brains age. But within the last few years, medical research decided to test a different theory and what they found was astounding! The medical researchers have found, based on their own research, that the brain is much more “plastic”, than they thought that it was previously. They have found that the brain can be exercised, like a muscle and they have come up with a set of “Brain Exercises” that can help to retrain the brain.

This is GREAT news for those of us that have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, because this means, that even if you have some scarring in your brain, as a result of the scarring caused by MS, the brain can be retrained and adapt to return functionality back to our brains by redeveloping neural pathways that allow the signals to travel between different parts of the brain to help it to function better again.

Click on the link to read more -- MS brain


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