One of my MS symptoms is difficulty concentrating when there is any background noise. Noise includes talking, music, television – anything but silence. This is most intrusive when I’m doing anything that requires counting (cooking, baking, balancing the checkbook, etc.). I used to play music often. I like having the television on, especially when I’m home alone. However, if I am trying to comprehend something, any noise anywhere near interferes in my thoughts. It’s not that I hear the background noise instead, it’s that I cannot hear the noise or hear the thoughts in my head – instead they merge together, creating a most unpleasant static, preventing me from making sense of anything.
Sitting in a group with more than one conversation going on usually finds me moving my head left and right trying to follow enough words in either direction to decode at least part of one conversation.
About a year ago, my neurologist suggested and then prescribed Ampyra to see if it might improve my walking. I took it for awhile and then did a test that the doctor suggested, stopping it for a week to see if there was any difference in my walking when taking and not taking it. There was indeed improvement in my walking while taking the Ampyra. I was far from speed walking, just a bit faster and steadier with my walker; but any improvement was welcome. During that test I realized to my surprise that there was significant improvement in my clarity of thinking.
Conversations were easier. I could think of words and places without such long delays. I felt sharper and thoughts seemed to be clearer and move faster. Again, not a miraculous change, but a noticeable and welcome one. At my next appointment, the neurologist asked again about Ampyra’s effectiveness. I asked if he would think if I was crazy if I told him it helped me think. He said they were actually doing a study on that very thing. Interesting. Unfortunately, Ampyra is about as expensive as the disease-modifying drugs.
Wondering what other people’s experiences have been. If you’re taking it, please comment to share.