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Multiple Sclerosis Community
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11079760 tn?1483389730

Memory / Recall

I know we've addressed this in a recent thread, but I just have to share that I just forgot my house address. I've lived here for almost 10 years, and I suddenly couldn't remember my house numbers. I went back & forth between 2 digits - one is right and one is not. Can this just be because I'm highly distracted with other issues (read: STRESSED) right now? I hate that these things are happening more & more frequently. I haven't shared this with anyone, but I also keep forgetting my own daughter's birth date! Again, not a total lapse of memory, but I am off by 1 number. I realize these numbers aren't right - so I guess that is good - but still, how frustrating!! Plus, it isn't every number. It just happens seemingly randomly.

My question is this: At what point should a person think about getting a neuro-psych test for a baseline? I don't wish to over-react - lots of things can cause these memory glitches, right? At the same time, I want to be proactive in understanding what is happening.

Thanks,
Cheryl
7 Responses
Avatar universal
I was told by the MS Society here that an early neuro psych eval is recommended. You get the baseline then if things progress you can pinpoint which area has gotten worse.

I got my baseline eval done about 6 months post MS diagnosis. I notice a definite decline 3 years later but it seems to be mainly stress/fatigue related so I haven't asked for a repeat.

I think the rationale was to get the baseline asap so that if you wound up with more cognitive than physical progression then it can help with disability application.

Hugs!

Corrie
3 Comments
ARe you serious?  I was told they were pointless since there's not much that can be done anyway.
That's what an MS nurse said during a conference call for newly diagnosed patients by the MS Society.  :)
aspen2: I believe what you were told is very outdated thinking. Much has been learned about neuroplasticity recent years.
11079760 tn?1483389730
Thanks, Corrie. I am definitely sleep-deprived right now and under stress, so I'm hopeful those triggers are causing more than usual "blips" in my recall ability.

Ugh. Makes me feel really dumb. :/
1 Comments
Sleep deprivation (my constant companion, on and off) definitely makes cognition worse.  I had a sleep deprived period where I couldn't tell right from left.  

Important to address sleep issues as fast as possible.
987762 tn?1331031553
COMMUNITY LEADER
There are definitely things you can do for cognitive issues but it's more retrospectively working on regaining, rewiring, and finding compensating tips and tricks that work for you. I've worked most of my life with kids with physical and learning disabilities, and the first step is always knowing exactly what the issues actually are, lol I have too many personal stories in my head to disbelieve in brain plasticity.  

The reason why i made the choice to keep re-reading the same book over and over when my short term memory went, the reason why i practiced naming things for hours each day when i lost nouns etc, is that i will never be able to trust cognitive abnormalities will just come back or develop on there own or accept there is nothing I can do, no guarantees of course but to do nothing changes nothing!

I'm a read-a-holic mum with one dyslexic child and the other unexpectedly started reading whilst still in nappies, both were exposed to books from birth, in exactly the same way but one cracked the reading code without trying and the other was just starting to crack the code in her last year of secondary school.

The amount of time and effort she put in was epic, repetition alone wasn't working but we eventually worked out a way to get information around her short term memory issues, she required the addition of engaging tactile memory eg getting her to write out what ever she needed to remember in sugar, flour, sand, 3D clay etc

Understanding what the issue is, understanding your individual unique strengths and weaknesses is game changing, getting a complete cognitive assessment is a valuable tool to have, it can give you the knowledge of your particular strengths and weaknesses and your place to start...

There are honestly many reasons behind forgetting things and mixing things up, it doesn't necessarily mean it's primarily a brain issues, things like being sleep deprived, certain medication, prolonged pain, mental health ie depression, self esteem, anxiety/sensitivity etc etc can all affect cognitive skills, so before anyone starts worrying too much, take a moment to think about what else is going on right now and you might find a different explanation too.

Hope that helps...JJ  

      

11079760 tn?1483389730
Great response, as always, J.J.! Thank you - I am really starting to read up / watch talks on brain plasticity. It is a fascinating concept to me - - especially as concerns negative vs. positive thinkers.

I do love the brain games that I have started & believe they are helping me to focus. I suspect my issues as of now are from factors outside of MS (at least as a primary cause). I've never forgotten my house numbers & it really concerned me...I'm calmer about it today :)

Thank you!
Cheryl
1 Comments
Hi Cheryl, when all my brain spots were firing last year and my memory was at its worst, I forgot where I lived (street name and number!). It is really disconcerting that's for sure!

I remember the Neuro asking what sorts of stuff I forgot and me saying my address as one of them ... "Yep, that'd be pretty annoying!" Lol

All sorts of things just dropped out of my head either mid sentence or I'd go to do something and end up doing something totally different! Could be 20+ times a day. It was my main reason for a 'disability' rating of 2.

Stress definitely makes it worse and light exercise like Pilates, walking or short distance cycling all seem to help.
Whether I've learnt to live with it and made new pathways or found coping methods - or a combination, I'm not sure.

One thing, I'm easier on myself about it and don't mention it a lot now - all the 'oh, I do that too' comments used to really wind me up - err, you don't!

I try to keep focussing on what I can do and make lots of notes, reminders of all sorts (written, diary, calendar, alarms, post its, work calendar etc etc). Hey, I'm human not a robot.

Nxx
382218 tn?1341185087
"Clinical Implications of Neuroplasticity – The Role of Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis"

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4347609/

198419 tn?1360245956
Such an important topic, and Supermum (so beautifully thorough as always), and so many others bring up some super important tips, tricks and practices.

I have nothing to add to this except to say that my recall has been giving me such a run for my money, that I'm just thrilled to read through this because it has reminded me what I can try to do to bring it back.

Isn't it just like ....reaching, reaching, reaching because you know it's there - uuuuugh, and the delays, or slow to recall, and sometimes outright brief panic (depending on what you are needing to remember) when it seems totally forgotten.

Thank you, Cheryl for bring up such an important topic for us all.

Avatar universal

Hi, I'm new to this site. I immediately read this because I identified my own memory issues. The panic, worry, stress etc.. I love what super mom said and I am going to read and learn more about what she said. I did have a neuro physc test 4 or 5 yrs ago and I'm heading back next week. I'm not happy about going through it again. I'll be around to join in and read more very interesting and educational posts.
Thank you so much.  
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