Cognition is a general term that refers to the mental activities associated with thinking, learning, and memory. Cognitive dysfunction, also a general term, refers to problems with cognition.

There is both good news and bad news to report about cognitive problems among people with MS.  The bad news is that such problems are relatively common, usually estimated to occur in about 45-65% of those with MS. And, not surprisingly, the impact of cognitive problems can be substantial; those with more severe cognitive problems are less likely to work, tend to experience less social involvement, and have more difficulty with everyday tasks.  In addition, cognitive problems may make driving dangerous for some.

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Cognition - Treatments

There is a large and growing body of evidence to support the idea that a lifetime of exercise can result in preservation of a number of aspects of cognition. Much of this literature has focused on aerobic exercise such as walking, running, bicycling and swimming.  There are several possible mechanisms by which physical activity could affect cognitive function, including increasing blood flow to the brain, reducing the risk of heart disease and for stroke, and stimulating the growth and survival of brain cells.

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