Multiple sclerosis (MS) can cause not only physical symptoms, but also cognitive — or mental — changes.
For example, it’s possible for the condition to affect things like memory, concentration, attention, ability to process information, and the capacity to prioritize and plan. In some cases, MS may also affect how you use language.
If you start to notice signs of cognitive changes, it’s important to take a proactive approach to managing and limiting them. If left unmanaged, cognitive changes can have significant effects on your quality of life and day-to-day activities.
Read on to learn about some of the ways you can use to cope with the potential mental effects of MS.

With MS, cognitive symptoms may develop at any stage of the condition. As the condition progresses, the possibility of cognitive issues increases. Cognitive changes can be subtle and difficult to detect.
To identify potential changes early, your doctor may use screening tools. According to recommendations published by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, people with MS should be screened for cognitive changes every year.
If your doctor hasn’t been screening you for cognitive changes, ask them if it’s time to start,

If you notice changes in your memory, attention, concentration, or other cognitive functions, call your doctor.
They might use one or more tests to better understand what you’re experiencing. They might also refer you to a psychologist or other healthcare provider for more in-depth testing.
Cognitive testing can help your doctor identify changes in your cognitive abilities. It might also help them pinpoint the cause of those changes. MS is only one of many conditions that can affect cognitive health. In some cases, other physical or mental health factors might be playing a role.