I read a blog you posted about memory and cognition for people with multiple sclerosis. Any tips on exactly what to do? Like what are things I should be doing everyday to help my brain?
Here are some ideas:
- Stop. Think. Let the information sink in. You are still capable of remembering new information, but because of the changes in how fast your brain is managing information, it is going to take a little bit longer. Give yourself that time.
- Stop. Listen. Are there distractions around you that might make it difficult to “encode” what you need to (T.V., radio, background noise)? Can you get rid of those distractions? If you can hear it your brain is working on processing that noise- and not on remembering what you need to remember.
- Stop. Decide. What do I need to remember? This is a conscious decision, don’t expect any information to just “sink in”.
- Choose a strategy that works for you in that moment. Do you need to write in down? Then find a piece of paper and write it down. Do you need an appointment card? Should tell someone to help you remember (the two heads are better than one strategy)? Do you need to repeat the information so you can remember it long enough to write it down? Can you generate a crazy image in your head to help you remember? Can you associate the new information to something you already know? Can you group things you need to remember so you can remember more?
- Technology. Many smart phones have voice recording. Figure that out. Go ahead and do it now. When you have a thought and you don’t want to lose it, speak it into your phone. Send yourself a text. Take a picture of what you need to remember (like the number you parked next to in that huge lot). Leave yourself a message on voice mail. Set the alarms and timers to send you reminders to start (and complete) tasks.
Lori Kostich M.S. CCC-SLP, MSCS
Mandell Center for Multiple Sclerosis
#multiplesclerosis #memory #cognition #MS