Well, I've researched the exam, so I know what to expect. This test is to measure my baseline during remission, not the worst I get during a flare, so I'm determined not to worry about it. I'm just going to take the test as-is.
I'll let you guys know how it goes when I'm done! My test is on Monday at 3:00, so it'll probably be two hours. Doesn't sound like the extensive test other people have gone through.
I went to the Neuro-psych Dr today for a pre-test appt. My test was broken down into 2, July 3rd & July 4th. I was nervous when I was told that I needed to see them, but I feel much more comfortable about it now.
I believe that the neuropsych testing is very useful. And the literature is supporting that.
Recently I read a study that looked at a whole slew of people late in MS who had been given the "Benign MS" tag. Most of these people had had the disease for 20 years or so and had minimal physical disability.
Surprisingly a large number had significant cognitive impairment, and good number had measurable cognitive impairment. The study concluded that this is an aspect that is being ignored. It makes the point that cognitive problems may be ever bit as disabling and stressful as physical impairment. It also points out that Benign MS may not be as benign as the name implies, and discourages the tendency to not follow these people closely. I'll try to locate the study so you all can read it.
I'm going to request neuropsych testing. The therapist I see is a Phd. Psychologist who does the testing. I don't think my insurance (Medicare) pays for it, but I still think it is important.
Jen - Good luck Monday. Hope your brain is present for the testing. :)
Heh... turns out my appointment is *next* Monday (the 30th), not this one! (What's this test for again?) ;-)
This test can't be the 8-hour marathon that some people have gone through. With my appointment at 3:00, I expect this to be a 2 or three hour exam. My cognitive problems aren't that obvious, so I'm not sure if this test will be able to find them... but that's for them to worry about, not me.
> Surprisingly a large number had significant cognitive impairment, and good number had measurable cognitive impairment.
I've read several excellent articles on Medscape on the topic, but it's copyrighted material, and it's behind a password!
Basically, to sum it up...
More than half of MS patients (up to 60%) have some sort of cognitive impairment. This ranges from mild to severe impairment. We were recognizing the signs 100 years ago, before we could measure brain atrophy and lesion load. Jean-Martin Charcot describes it pretty well: "a marked enfeeblement of the memory, conceptions being formed slowly and the intellectual and emotional faculties being blunted in their totality".
Episodic memory, processing speed and working memory are the most frequent areas of impaired cognition in MS. I think we can all relate to that - it takes longer for me to figure something out, my short-term memory sometimes just doesn't function, and if somebody's telling me something, it takes me a minute to understand.
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