- Selma Blair shared that she’s suffering from “memory problems” due to multiple sclerosis in a new Instagram post.
- Memory problems are a key symptom in those with MS and are often the first sign of the disease.
- Selma shared earlier this week that she’s also losing her eyelashes due to MS.
Earlier this week, Selma Blair revealed on Instagram that her eyelashes have started falling out due to multiple sclerosis. Now, Selma’s opening up about another MS symptom: memory loss.
In a new Instagram post Thursday, Selma shared a throwback photo of herself that was apparently part of a book. “This was from a book to raise money? Awareness? For brain cancer,” she wrote, clearly trying to remember something she couldn’t exactly put her finger on.
“I have my own memory problems,” she continued. “I might forget what I am looking up in the middle of it. Or I would give you more info on this book. So. I keep typing.” Selma also revealed that she doesn’t remember thinking she looked good back then. “My face looks so good,” she wrote. “I don’t think I ever thought so.” (Cue the shocked look on my face.)
This was from a book to raise money? Awareness? for brain cancer. I have my own memory problems. I might forget what I am looking up in the middle of it. Or I would give you more info on this book. So. I keep typing. I never saw this picture until my friend @johnmcilwee sent to me on Saturday. My face looks good. I don’t know if I ever thought so. Go look back at a younger you on plain old film or Polaroid to feel like Isabella Rossellini or some beauty. #tbt
A post shared by Selma Blair (@selmablair) on
This isn’t the first time Selma’s mentioned her memory issues related to MS. In her very first Instagram post about her diagnosis in October, Selma gave a rundown of her symptoms: “I am disabled,” she wrote. “I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps. But we are doing it. And I laugh and I don’t know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best.”
Are memory problems common in those with MS?
Yep. Cognitive changes are a key symptom in people with MS, per the National MS Society (NMSS)—more than half of all those diagnosed with MS will develop problems with cognition (a.k.a., high-level brain functions that include the ability to learn, remember, focus, and understand, among other things).
According to the NMSS, cognitive changes are often the first symptom of MS, and are often only weakly related to other MS symptoms. That means, per the NMSS, that one person may have no physical limitations with MS but experiences significant cognitive impairment, while others who have extreme physical disabilities can be unaffected cognitively.
Those with MS can experience cognitive issues if their disease is on the more progressive side and if they’re in an exacerbation—both issues that Selma has said she has dealt with.
While it’s unclear how much medical treatment for MS can aid memory and cognitive issues, cognitive rehabilitation, like learning or memory exercises, can help slow the disease’s cognitive progression. In some cases when a certain cognitive function is completely gone, MS patients can use tricks (like making to-do lists or eliminate distractions) that can help when certain cognitive functions are lacking.
It seems as though Selma might be working on cognitive rehabilitation by looking back at these old photos; here’s to hoping it can help her deal with her cognitive changes.
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