brain fog

Seeing [MS]: The invisible symptoms – brain fog

Australian Jessica Anderson has been living with multiple sclerosis since she was 12 years old, and she says brain fog is the scariest symptom she experiences, especially not being able to gather and make sense of her own thoughts. During her worst moments, she can barely focus on a thought for more than 30 seconds. Listen to Jessica speak about her symptoms below.   You are now seeing brain fog Photographed by Sara Orme Inspired by Jessica Anderson’s invisible symptoms Jessica and New Zealand photographer Sara Orme worked together to visualize Jessica’s brain fog, and her video and picture are part of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Australia’s (MSA) Seeing [MS] campaign, which is all about recognizing the invisible symptoms of MS and raising awareness for the neurological condition. Check out the previous pictures and stay tuned for more Seeing [MS] posts. Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word for MS.

Use It or Lose It?

You’ve all heard the phrase “use it or lose it” before.  But should it be applied to patients with chronic, debilitating illnesses?  That’s an ongoing debate in the PatientsLikeMe forums.  Take for example this discussion of cognitive difficulties in our Multiple Sclerosis Forum. On the one hand, there’s the argument that brain exercises such as word games can help you recover or improve cognitive skills.  For people who like the idea of challenging themselves to stay as sharp as possible, the phrase can be a motivating call-to-action.  Others, however, are bothered by the phrase as they feel it implies that cognitive decline is the patient’s fault.  Or that it makes it seem like “using” can stop the “losing,” which could be misleading in many cases. Overall, this controversy is one that can help can help friends, family and the public at large be more sensitive to those with cognitive challenges due to their health condition.  “Brain fog” is a common symptom of numerous chronic diseases, including multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.  While there’s a natural instinct to encourage loved ones, it’s important to remember that every patient’s journey is an individual one, and no amount of “using it” can necessarily prevent …

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Fibromyalgia Awareness Day Is This Saturday

Sponsored by the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA), Fibromyalgia Awareness Day (Saturday, May 12th) is an annual event dedicated to raising awareness of this complex chronic pain disorder.   Fibromyalgia (FM) affects an estimated 10 million people in the US, 75-90 percent of whom are women—but it can also occur in men and children. The 2012 theme for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is “Make Fibromyalgia Visible.”  There are several ways you can help do this: Join a Walk to CURE FM event (Logan, UT, or Philadelphia, PA). Sign the “Pledge to Care” as a caregiver, friend or provider. Sponsor a “Light of Hope” candle in honor of a loved one with FM. Add your photo to the NFMCPA’s Faces of Courage Wall. Sign this Change.org petition started by a PatientsLikeMe member. You can also take a moment to brush up on this often-misunderstood condition, which is characterized by pain or aching in the muscles (myalgia) and multiple points of tenderness (trigger points).  With more than 23,000 patients, the fibromyalgia community at PatientsLikeMe is a great place to gain knowledge.  Some of the most commonly reported symptoms in our community include muscle and joint pain, brain fog, pain in the lower back …

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What Do You Know About Multiple Sclerosis?

March is National MS Education and Awareness Month (NMEAM), an initiative of the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MSF) to raise awareness for this chronic neurological disease affecting the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. This year’s theme is “At Your Best with MS,” encouraging the more than 2.5 million people with MS worldwide to seek the best quality of life possible.  This means different things to different people as MS varies widely in severity, with approximately 15% of those diagnosed becoming severely disabled.  It could include adhering to a treatment regimen, eating healthy, keeping fit, developing a support network and/or maintaining good emotional health. It could also refer to nurturing hobbies and interests.  That’s why the MSF has launched the “Show Us Your Best” contest, which calls for creative submissions (such as poems, essays, photo collages, videos, songs and more) demonstrating how people are raising awareness of MS.  The deadline for entry is March 31st, and the grand prize winner will win a cruise for two on MSF’s 2013 “Cruise for a Cause” to Alaska. With 26,000+ members, the MS community at PatientsLikeMe is one of our largest.  Approximately 80% of the MS community is female (reflecting the fact that MS …

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One for All: A Cross View of Patient Sharing

With more than 82,000 patients on PatientsLikeMe, there’s a lot of information being shared with one another.  Last month, we highlighted how your sharing affects the experience of many on our site (One For All series). Today, we continue that theme by taking a look at information being shared across all of our communities that many of you may have in common. Can you guess how many of you are on similar treatments or experiencing similar symptoms even though you are in different communities? Read on to find out. DID YOU KNOW… Of the members who have reported their age, more than 8,000 of our of you have indicated you’re under 30-years old and more than 12,000 are 55-years old or older. Approximately 31% (or 27,013) of patient members across all communities experience depression. How are you treating your condition? You report using more than 4,500 treatments for your conditions, including prescription drugs, supplements, over-the-counter medications, medical devices, life-style modifications, therapies, etc. One of the top lifestyle modifications reported by our members is heat avoidance; and physical exercise is the #1 exercise cited. The most widely used prescription drugs reported across communities include Gabapentin (Neurontin), Glatiramer acetate (Copaxone) and Duloxetine (Cymbalta). The top 3 supplements …

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