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Increased activation in brain responsible for multiple sclerosis cognitive issue

MedUni Vienna researchers were able to use meta-analysis, methods that focus on contrasting and bringing together results from different studies in the hope of identifying patterns among results, to identify boosted stimulations in the ‘involuntary attention system’ as being accountable for cognitive issues in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. [see abstract]

The involuntary attention system is, essentially, attention that requires no effort. It is what is in play when something thrilling or fascinating happens and is apparently in high-drive in those who suffer from MS.

Lead researcher Veronika Schöpf noted MS patients could have problems with trying to leave what isn’t important in the background saying, “They are practically in continuous alarm mode.”

Those with MS induced cognitive issues understand the frustration of hearing (watching) television or when talking with someone, how frustrating it is when there are extraneous noises as those are noticed immediately too. Having several attention-catching situations around them simultaneously can lead to a great deal of confusion and stress.

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“In most people the centre for these activities lies in the right half of the brain, in many MS patients however it lies in the left side of the brain, as it does in many epilepsy patients,” says the PhD student and primary author Kathrin Kollndorfer and those pictures can be seen in the abstract.

The researchers had to pull together a lot of information from a great many areas of the world when doing this study. Explaining, Veronica Schöpf said, “Most studies that have so far dealt with this question by means of functional imaging have mostly examined only very small and heterogeneous samples, which clearly differ with regard to age, gender or duration of illness. We have included in our evaluation everything in studies so far.”

They believe their studies will lead to personalized treatments for those with MS who have a terrible time with cognitive issues and believe it will be “in good time.”

For more info: for those who live in Lima, Ohio, the Northwestern Ohio MS Chapter can be reached at: 401 Tomahawk Drive, Maumee, OH at (419) 897-7263. They are located approximately an hour and a half from Lima, Ohio and 45 minutes from Findlay, Ohio. For directions please click here at Google Maps

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