Cognitive impairment, a research priority for the MS Society of Canada, affects a significant proportion of people living with MS.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) can cause a reduction in brain size (also called brain atrophy). Research has shown that this atrophy and lesions developed in MS can be linked to the presence of cognitive difficulties. Cognitive difficulties affect up to seventy percent of individuals living with progressive MS, predominantly impacting information processing and speed, learning and memory, executive function and perceptual processing. Also, individuals themselves have voiced cognitive impairment as an area of concern that needs to be addressed.
Five years ago, I traveled around the country and engaged the MS Community (researchers, caregivers, individuals living with MS) to find out what areas of research are important to them—cognition and mental health was one of them!