Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cognition Issues in MS/ CCSVI

Cognitive Issues In MS / CCSVI:

I often said only half jokingly that of all the things MS had taken for me, I missed my mind most. I couldn’t remember where I put things, important dates or even what day of the week it was sometimes. Thoughts I wanted to express were not the words that came out of my mouth. During remissions, I did not get total relief from these problems. When I progressed to SPMS, I was afraid I might really lose my mind. I taught adult classes until my ability to concentrate was severely compromised. My neurologist ordered cognition therapy for me when I couldn’t repeat simple sentences word for word. I had to use materials that were more suited to an elementary student than a 50 something well educated woman. I was determined to do all I could to exercise my brain until somewhere, somehow, I could break through the cog fog that made me ashamed to be around my own family. I had a great deal of difficulty keyboarding but I knew there were free resources available online and I used them to get me through the last few years. If the angioplasty procedure did nothing else but improve my cognition, I would have been ever so grateful.

Many people with this condition have cognitive problems. It’s important to do whatever you can to stay sharp while you for your procedure. I have listed a few websites with free games and resources to help you. You might even enjoy playing some of them with your children, grandchildren or friends.

Some people are telling us that we cannot repair the damage already done to our brains. I agonized over that possibility before I had the procedure. Thankfully in this regard the naysayers are wrong. This is just another piece of the CCSVI puzzle where we can take control of our bodies and minds.
There are many resources other than these and I’m not advertising for anyone. These should all be free although some may have “upgrades” to pay for if you want all the bells and whistles, but they aren’t necessary at all.

http://www.lumosity.com/
Lumosity trains your brain with 30 targeted brain games and exercises. The specialized brain training web application comes in both free and paid subscription versions. The library of games relate to speed, memory, attention, flexibility, and problem solving. The full suite of games is open to subscribers only, though those with a free account can play quite a few games across the board.

The games are well designed: the Birdwatching game works on your visual processing skills and concentration. Lumosity also has multiple courses designed by experts that bolster weak areas like weak memory, problem solving, math skills, and also brain related medical conditions like ADHD and TBI. Don’t forget to take their free Brain Grade test.

http://www.sharpbrains.com/
Sharp Brains is actually a blog that keeps tabs on the brain fitness and cognitive health industry. So expect to find a lot of articles on brain health and the use of digital tools to enhance our mental muscles. The site also tries to raise social awareness on the importance of regularly exercising our mental faculties. One way is through the site’s newsletter. But if you are itching to put your brain through the paces head straight to the Teasers section. The large lineup of links to brain games, puzzles, and illusions could keep you occupied for some time.

http://www.braingle.com/
Braingle is a community driven website that says it has the largest collection of brain teasers, riddles, logic problems, quizzes and mind puzzles on the web. 20,000 of them is a large number. Being a part of the community helps as enthusiastic members constantly keep the site updated with the freshest picks of games. As a free member, you can also subscribe to the daily teaser. Check out the Mentalrobics section for some cool brain workouts and articles on topics like stress management and memory.

http://www.smart-kit.com/
At Smart-Kit, you get to cross train your brain on a variety of puzzles and games. All games are meant to be kid safe and designed to stimulate free thinking and problem solving. Some games like the Memory Match Game are easy while you might have to scratch your head when it comes to playing Take Something Literally. The Lateral Thinking games (which comes under the category marked – More) deserve a special mention here.

http://www.braintraining101.com/
Games by their very nature call for a lot of co-ordination and mental skills. Take a game like Tetris or the classic Simon Says and you can ‘reverse engineer’ it as a game for brain exercise.
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