Slow cognitive processing in MS

S

Slow processing of information is a cognitive deficit that occurs in MS’ers.

Three structures in the brain called the basal ganglia, thalamus and neocortex are have a key role in information-processing. The basal ganglia and thalamus are groups of neurons that are found deep with in the brain and are typically referred to as the deep gray matter. The neocortex refers to the layer of cells on the surface of the brain.
This study shows that damage and shrinking in size of the basal ganglia and thalamus on MRI in MS’ers is associated  with slow information processing.

Another lesson from this study is that MS is not only a white matter (myelin) disease but also affects the gray matter (neurons).

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.

12 comments

  • This information is very valuable for those of us, MSers, out there indeed.

    I would like to add to the discussion another source of valuable information on the subject of cognition difficulties and MS and this is a new page I just finished working for my web site http:www.ms-multiple-sclerosis-symptoms.com/MS-Society.com

    The video series produced by the MS Society are the best ones I have run into to showed the problems and type of obstacles all people with MS have to deal with every day.

    Hope you all are well,

    Alex

  • Another awful symptom that can't be helped.

    You'd think it bad enough that it effected your walking, vision, bladder etc etc. But no – add in cognitive issues for good emasure. And surprise, surprise, another grim symptom with no effective treatment,

    There must be some good news about the future. Surely one effective treatment in the next 3-5 years.

    I came here lookign for hope, but the main discussion has focused on assisted death, or the lack of effecttive treatments for progressive disease.

    I woudl hope that if I am still here in 10 year's time and visit this site that there will be some good news!

  • There is lots of good news in many of our postings.

    The purpose of this blog is to look at MS in its entirety.

    Knowing how bad MS is can be is very important in informing your decisions about effective therapies that have high risk.

    If you don't know about the potential damage that MS can do to you how can you expect to have sufficient insight when making a decision about going onto a high risk drug?

    Does anybody else agree with the previous commentator?

  • Re "Does anybody else agree with the previous commentator? "

    I kind of know what the above commenter is groping at, though I try not to be as downbeat.

    I have PPMS and got it in my 20s. To this day I would love to know why I got it so young when it’s not meant to hit people until they are middle-aged. Because PPMS hit me so young I am convinced I will die early. My friend’s mum said to me on the weekend that what I am going through has happened to me 50 years before my time, therefore, I sort of assume I will perhaps die before my time too.

    This brings me on to lack of good treatment for my condition. I know you are hoping that Fingolimod will work by delaying progression in PPMS but it hasn’t worked in Theiler's Murine Encephalomyelitis Virus, therefore Fingolimod will probably not work for PPMS sufferers either.

    To be honest there is no good news till you can say we can slow, stop and preferably reverse MS progression. I agree that the advocating of assisted dying on this blog is rather upsetting, but no one says things like that unless they are truly suffering. It’s a shame they have to think like that but because there are no potent therapies for progressive MS, sufferers can only look forward to death as means of escaping the hardships imposed by the disease.

  • RE: "Knowing how bad MS is can be is very important in informing your decisions about effective therapies that have high risk"

    Totally agree Prof G! I am a great believer that the more information one is able to gather, the more informed one's decisions can be. Let's face it, probably the most important decisions any of us will have to take, MS or not, are to do with our own health. How can someone do that unless they are fully aware of all the possibilities?

  • Totally agree that 'Knowing how bad MS is can be is very important in informing your decisions '

    But i'm not sure we need to learn about the basal ganglia, thalamus … I can't absorb or remember so much scientific information.

    I have a similar problem with posts on new targets etc which may or may not lead to new treatments in another 20+ years.

  • Prof G,

    "Knowing how bad MS is can be is very important in informing your decisions about effective therapies that have high risk.

    If you don't know about the potential damage that MS can do to you how can you expect to have sufficient insight when making a decision about going onto a high risk drug?"

    I'd like to test this as follows:

    I am now fully aware of how bad MS is and the potential damage it can do. On the basis of this knowledge I am now in a position to make an informed decision about going onto a high risk drug. I have decided to go for a high risk. I have SPMS, what high risk drug is available for me?

    Unfortunately, there is a big divide on how researchers see the current position with this disease and how sufferers see it.

    As someone with progressive MS there is no treatment option (for slowing, stopping, reversing the disease). I can't share the same enthusism as the researchers for the idnentification of a new target which may lead to better treatments by 2025.

    One thing that I have learned from this blog, is that the models of MS are not good models. I would argue that EAE and its offspring have held back major advance with the disease.

    Thinking positively:

    I think Alemtuzumab will be a massive advance for those with RRMS.

    I think B cell depleting therapies may helf with progressive MS (sometime in the next 3-5 years).

    I think your work on EBV holds real promise.

    I think that a breakthrough will come through serendipity – probably from another specialism.

    I hope that in your retirement you can look back and take great pleasure from your work which has stopped disability progression, prevents young people ever getting the disease, and helps reverse (by a couple of EDSS points) deficits for thos a;ready disabled.

    Best wishes.

  • Re "Basal ganglia, thalamus …" Apologies, but it is difficult to get the scientific balance right. All you need to know is that they represent an important area of the brain that is affected by MS.

  • Re "Posts on new targets etc which may or may not lead to new treatments in another 20+ years."

    It is important for you to know about what is happening in basic MS research. All the emerging therapies started off in the same way. It should give you hope about the future. The basic R&D of today should deliver the therapies of tomorrow; this included treatments for progressive disease.

  • Re "To be honest there is no good news .."

    I would encourage you to remain up-beat; there is a lot of activity in the field and it is only a matter of time before we have something to slow down the progression of non-relapsing progressive MS. Reversing disability in this phase is a harder nut to crack, but we are working on it as well.

  • Re: "[It] is only a matter of time before we have something to slow down the progression of non-relapsing progressive MS. Reversing disability in this phase is a harder nut to crack, but we are working on it as well."

    Good luck Prof G. It's brilliant to know that you are sounding upbeat about your efforts because you are usually a bit too uber-cautious when it comes to talking optimistically about R&D in progressive MS.

    By the way, I want to second that previous commenter’s enquiry into young people with PPMS. I too am only 33 and have PPMS, which I got when I was 26. Is PPMS rare in young people or is it somewhat common. If it isn't common then why have so many young people actually developed it. Also, are young people better able to stave off disability due to PPMS?

  • Prof G,

    Thanks for all your hard work.

    I think when there is a glimmer of hope regarding treatment to slow down progresion then there will be an upsurge in the number of patients being 'up-beat'.

    I see a much brighter future for people with RRMS – perhaps Alemtuzumab available within a year or so.

    I, like you, can't believe there won't be some treatments for slowing progession in the next 5-7 years (Fingolimod, B-cell depleting therapies).

    I think we may see some hope regaring repai in the longer term. THis will be a discovery which comes otu of the bluse (probably not neurology).

    I like the idea of a treatment to counter EBV.

By Prof G

Translate

Categories

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Archives