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October-November 2006

Volume 24, Issue 5



Multiple Sclerosis: Understanding the Cognitive Challenges

by Nicholas LaRocca, PHD, and Rosalind Kalb, PHD


Directed at patients, families, caregivers, and health-care professionals, Understanding the Cognitive Challenges first explores how the brain thinks and how thinking can be derailed by MS. The authors describe how cognitive changes are measured by neuropsychologists. They briefly discuss the limited data on the effectiveness of MS disease-modifying treatments, symptom management drugs, and rehabilitation on cognitive impairment.


The balance of the book provides concrete and easily applied strategies for managing the challenges. These strategies are neither cures nor treatments, but ways to compensate.

Strategies are outlined for specific problems—for example, forgetting what you went to the grocery store to buy. The authors work through several options, identifying different solutions that might work for different people.

The book also includes a series of vignettes about people with MS in situations made difficult by cognitive issues. These vignettes not only provide solutions that real people have found successful, but also highlight the emotional and social havoc cognitive changes in MS can cause.

Published by Demos Medical Publishing, 2006, $19.95 each. 386 Park Avenue South , New York , NY 10016 . Web site: www.demosmedpub.com.



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Reviewed by Bernice Schacter, PhD, a biomedical consultant and author of The New Medicines: How Drugs Are Created, Approved, Marketed, and Sold (Praeger, 2006). She has been living with MS since 1991.

Copyright © National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2006