Cognitive Issues & Treatments for PwMS/CCSVI

I wrote this 4 years ago. Since then I realize that some symptoms of cognitive dysfunction were omitted. Perhaps I did so purposely because they may have hit too close to home. At the conclusion of the five year clinical study for CCSVI in which I took part, I was given the privilege of reading some results that I have given much thought to since August. Cognitive issues MS/CCSVI or what ever you have chosen to call our condition included are far more complex than I realized. It is my intention to address this issue in greater detail as I prepare a video and article which will chronicle in greater detail my almost 20 year journey through MS.

Of the 50 various MS symptoms I had, cognition, cog fog, MS brain farts, “old timer’s” disease or what ever else you want to call it was by far the most crippling and self-esteem destroying hell I have ever lived through. I have made a few observations:

Cognitive impairment occurs when problems with thought processes occur. It can include loss of higher reasoning, forgetfulness, learning disabilities, concentration difficulties, decreased intelligence, and other reductions in mental functions.

If either memory, or thinking were somehow disrupted, then our ability to process information would be impaired.

Some treatments that have proven to be effective in some people

ACETYL-L-CARNITINE: 1500-4000 mg daily (caution: do not take with blood thinners like Warferin)It also improves blood flow which makes sense for PwMS/CCSVI

  • CITICOLINE: Age-related memory problems. Citicoline seems to help memory loss in people aged 50 to 85 years.
  • Stroke recovery. Stroke patients who take citicoline by mouth within 24 hours of having the kind of stroke that is caused by a clot (ischemic stroke) are more likely than other ischemic stroke patients to have a complete recovery within 3 months.
  • Long-term blood circulation problems in the brain (cerebrovascular diseases). There is some evidence that citicoline taken by mouth or given by IV or as a shot might improve memory and behavior in patients with long-term cerebro-vascular diseases, such as stroke.
  • PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE:  100 mg of phosphatidylserine three times daily.

Description of the how we use our cognitive skills:

  •  focus, maintain and divide attention (concentration)
  • learn and remember new things
  • think, reason and solve problems
  • plan, carry out and monitor our own activities
  • understand and use language
  • recognize objects and assemble things together
  • judge distances (spatial skills)
  • Language processing, concentration and memory problems are the most common symptoms of cognitive dysfunction.
  • ‘Word Fishing” is a common complaint relating to language use, where the person knows what they would like to say but is unable to ‘find the words’.
  • Concentration may result in a person beginning a task, becoming distracted by another but beginning the new task before finishing the first, and so it goes on and on, until there are numerous unfinished chores or tasks.
  • Memory problems too, present a challenge for people with multiple sclerosis, particularly short term memory. This tends to show itself as a failure to remember basic things such as the name of a familiar item or animal, for example.
  • The range of cognitive dysfunctions which can be associated with multiple sclerosis:
  • Verbal fluency and language skills can be impaired
  • Intellectual reasoning can be impaired
  • Inability to learn quickly
  • Poor problem solving abilities
  • Information processing can be slowed
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor judgment
  1. 1.       The majority of people with MS/CCSVI are/were multi-taskers. Someone who can dovetail their projects and complete them is usually is an “A” personality. 10% of people with multiple sclerosis, the impairment to their cognitive functioning will eventually become severe enough to significantly interfere with daily living.
  2. The ones who multitask are the most likely to suffer from cognitive problems. (This is not written in stone, however)
  3. When a brain cell dies, it does not regenerate, it is gone. The brain being the marvelous work and wonder that it is can compensate for a considerable amount of cell death. Even with no formal retraining the brain will often pass the cerebral baton to another part of the brain and learn to compensate for tissue degradation elsewhere.
  4. It is wise to prepare the brain to “cross train “ before the time it becomes a necessity.
  5. A person with MS can develop this symptom at anytime. You may go for ten years with little or no cognitive issues and then find yourself wondering what year it is.
  6. Cognitive problems usually occur over time. Since the person developing the problem may only have a vague feeling that something is wrong, it is often a friend or c0-worker who mentions your changed sense of awareness.
  7. Cognitive impairment may accompany symptoms related to infection including:
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Malaise or lethargy
  • Muscle twitching, spasms or seizures
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Rash
  • Stiff or rigid neck

BTW: other causes of cognitive problems are:

  • chromosome abnormalities and genetic syndromes,
  • malnutrition
  • prenatal drug exposure
  •  poisoning due to lead or other heavy metals
  • hypoglycemia (low blood sugar hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), complications of prematurity, trauma or child abuse such as shaken baby syndrome, or oxygen deprivation in the womb or during or after birth

Cognitive impairment that develops in childhood or adolescence can result from many conditions.

  • Examples include side effects of cancer therapy,
  • malnutrition
  • heavy metal poisoning,
  • autism (abnormal development of communication and social skills), metabolic conditions
  • systemic lupus erythematosus (disorder in which the body attacks its own healthy cells and tissues)

With age, other conditions such as stroke, dementia, delirium, brain tumors, chronic alcohol use or abuse, substance abuse, some vitamin deficiencies, and some chronic diseases may cause cognitive impairment. Head injury and infection of the brain or of the covering of the brain and spinal cord (meninges) can cause cognitive impairment at any age.

Cognitive impairment may accompany other symptoms related to metabolic disorders including:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal heart rhythm such as rapid heart rate (tachycardia) or slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Changes in skin
  • Confusion or loss of consciousness for even a brief moment
  • Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Frequent urination or decrease in urine output
  • Fruity breath
  • Muscle weakness

8.Cognitive impairment may accompany symptoms related to other problems, such as injury, stroke or dementia. These symptoms may include:

  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Changes in mood, personality or behavior
  • Confusion or loss of consciousness for even a brief moment
  • Difficulty with memory, thinking, talking, comprehension, writing or reading
  • Impaired balance and coordination
  • Loss of vision or changes in vision
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Numbness, weakness or paralysis
  • Seizure
  • Severe headacheImage