Information Processing


People with MS find they often need more time to take in information and to make sense of it. It can also take them longer to formulate an appropriate response.

"People get so annoyed with me because I find I am always saying, "What did you just say?""

Information Processing and MS

You may have difficulties in processing sentences, which can be due to slowed processing; you might also find that you need a little extra processing time when you are having conversations. You might be experiencing attention and concentration problems and therefore you will be distractible (see attention section).

You may have to make a greater effort to concentrate. Because your information processing speed may be slow, you take in less information. Therefore you may think you have a memory problem.

"I cannot think as quickly as I used to"

People with MS report an overall slowing in their speed of information processing of visual information (eg making sense of lots of road signs in a short distance) and of auditory information (eg following a set of verbal instructions or making sense of a conversation happening at normal speed). If you are experiencing slowed processing you will also notice you take a long time to react to incoming information which can cause you to become frustrated.

Strategies to help

PQRST Strategy

Read the PQRST strategy for reading a document, taking in information and making sense of it.