A condition known as MS dementia will occur in approximately 10 percent of all multiple sclerosis patients, making it fairly rare.  While many people with multiple sclerosis will experience some types of cognitive problems, only some will have full blown multiple sclerosis dementia.  Dementia symptoms can include things like memory loss, forgetfulness, difficulty communicating with others, anxiety or depression, and other changes in mental mood.  A person with dementia may notice subtle changes at first, but they may not want to admit them.  Over time, they may stop noticing them as the dementia gets worse.  The dementia symptoms can vary depending on what part of the brain is affected.

Dementia in multiple sclerosis is different than dementia in other diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.  Dementia in multiple sclerosis may be caused by the lesions that grow on the brain throughout the progression of the disease.  Over time, the damage to the nervous system can also cause dementia.  This is because signals travelling through the nervous system can get delayed or lost completely, causing some of the symptoms of dementia.  As the disease progresses, these problems can get worse, so the symptoms of dementia can become more pronounced in patients as their disease goes through different stages.


Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis Dementia


Unfortunately, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, and there is also no cure for multiple sclerosis dementia.  There are only treatments that can help with the symptoms, and even these can only go so far.  One of the best steps that people can take in order to avoid dementia is to take preventative steps.  This means taking care of themselves early.  Getting an early diagnosis helps.  Once the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is made, patients can start treatment as soon as possible.  While treatment will not stop the disease from existing in the body, it can help the disease to slow down.  This means that the process of demyelination will slow down, and nerve damage may not be as pronounced.  This can help patients to avoid dementia and dementia symptoms for as long as possible.

For patients who are already experiencing dementia and dementia symptoms, there are options.  There are some medications on the market that can help with the memory loss and forgetfulness.  Some of these medications may be the same treatments that are used in other diseases such as Alzheimer’s.