The Multiple Sclerosis Patient Journey - Episode 6

Quality of Life Issues:  Cognitive Changes with MS

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Ann Moore shares the quality of life issue of cognitive changes in multiple sclerosis and strategies she uses to manage.

June Halper, MSN, MSCN: Speaking of New York and issues unrelated to MS [multiple sclerosis] but certainly related both directly and indirectly, there’s an issue of quality of life. MS, Dr. Foley said it, it’s this sort of Damocles. Some people talk about it as if it’s in the Charlie Brown cartoons with the cloud over your head walking around. It’s something that’s there the rest of your life. What is the most significant quality of life issues that the two of you have faced? And Kathy, speak up. This is your partnership as well as Ann’s. How do you manage them other than getting a word in edgewise from Ann?

Kathy Zelles: Right? I think for me it’s being flexible and sometimes knowing when to take a step back. Like if I know I’m frustrated or upset, like I’ll come home and I’m like, “Why did you do that? You should have done this.” And then I step back and go, “Well, I didn’t leave her a list, so she didn’t really process.” The cognitive things are actually the hardest thing because you can’t see it, and anybody that knows her doesn’t really notice but I notice. 

Ann Moore: I chase my tail most days, especially now with this flare-up that I’m having. If I don’t write it down and write it down in the order in which I should do it, based upon the time in which I get up when I have the most energy, the plan goes out the window.

June Halper, MSN, MSCN: Dr. Foley, I see you nodding your head. Any comment?

Ann Moore: I talk to him about that a lot.

Frederick Foley, PhD: Yes.

Kathy Zelles: Yeah, right?

Frederick Foley, PhD: But Ann is talking about a very good strategy to use to help compensate for cognitive changes. We teach people to become more organized. We teach people how to use lists and calendars in ways that are effective. There are also some techniques now for improving verbal learning and memory in MS which we can help patients with. Ann, you’re on board with a good technique there.

June Halper, MSN, MSCN: I want to thank you all for watching and joining us at this NeurologyLive® Cure Connections®. If you enjoyed this program, please subscribe to the e-newsletter to receive upcoming information about other programs. I’d like to thank you all for the time and I thank you all for this wonderful opportunity and hope to see you all again.