Multiple Sclerosis Radio Presents...
National Multiple Sclerosis Society on
Maintaining Cognitive and Emotional Health While Unemployed

Christina Forster, Employment Services Manager at Greater Delaware Chapter of the MS Society 

 
Psychologist Lauren Strober will discuss current research that shows the importance of staying productive to maintain your health while unemployed. Along with others living with MS, she will share practical tips on how this is accomplished.
 
Contact information
Marissa Baum
marissa.baum@nmss.org
631-864-8337

COGNITIVE DISFUNCTION


Symptoms

  • Memory impairment

  • Impaired attention/concentration

  • Slowed processing speed

  • Impaired executive functions

  • Impaired spatial relations

  • Impaired word-finding ability

Note: Cognitive deficits are often missed in a standard neurologic exam. Read more about brief screening batteries.

Treatments

Interventions:

  • Cognitive rehabilitation (S/LP, OT, or neuropsychologists)

  • Restorative approach: direct retraining exercises (have only limited benefit for daily activities)

  • Compensatory approach: aims to improve function via substitution of compensatory strategies/tools for the impaired function

  • Aerobic exercise to enhance cognitive function

Cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis. II. Impact on employment and social functioning.

In addition to its physical symptoms, MS may have profound emotional consequences. At first, it may be difficult to adjust to the diagnosis of a disorder that is unpredictable, has a fluctuating course, and carries a risk of progressing over time to some level of physical disability. Lack of knowledge about the disease adds to the anxieties commonly experienced by people who are newly diagnosed. In addition to these emotional reactions to the disease, demyelination and damage to nerve fibers in the brain can also result in emotional changes. Some of the medications used in MS — such as corticosteroids — can also have significant effects on the emotions. Some of the emotional changes observed in MS include the following:

  • Major depressive episodes as well as less severe depressive symptoms

  • Grieving for losses related to the disease

  • Stress and reactions to stressful situations

  • Generalized distress and anxiety

  • Emotional lability or mood swings

  • Pseudobulbar Affect - uncontrollable laughing and/or crying

  • Inappropriate behavior such as sexual aggressiveness

Depression

Grieving

Generalized anxiety and distress

Emotional lability

Pseudobulbar affect

Stress

Inappropriate behavior

READ MORE: NATIONAL MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS SOCIETY