Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis & Treatment
Expert Local Compassionate Care
The goal of the Multiple Sclerosis Clinic at Neuroscience Group is to help our patients live well with MS. We are a multidisciplinary clinic led by an experienced neurology team. We offer early interventions, new treatments and are involved in several MS-related clinical research trials.
Some of the therapies we offer are:
- Infusion therapy
- Botox for spasticity
- MS certified physical therapy
- Pain management
- Speech therapy
- MS certified triage nursing
Our compassionate care, expertise and resources ensure that our patients receive personalized treatment options. We support our local MS community though education and outreach, as well as offering emotional support by hosting a monthly support group.
“It’s important for patients with multiple sclerosis to know that once they get a diagnosis, it’s a time to exhale. It’s not a time to plan as though it’s going to be the end, or that it’s going to change or alter the life that you wanted. Certainly, it’s a bump in the road, but it’s something that once you get diagnosed, we have the answer. And now we’re having more and more treatments available, so my goal, whenever I see someone with MS, is to make sure that once they have the diagnosis, we treat it effectively so they can live the life they want.”
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune disease that impacts connections between the brain and the spinal cord. The immune system attacks myelin, the substance that covers nerves; this causes dysfunction of the nerves.
- Most common of the autoimmune diseases
- 4x more common in females
- Most common in Caucasians with Northern European ancestry
What are the signs of Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis can cause damage anywhere in brain and spinal cord. Depending on where that damage occurs, the signs and symptoms of
MS will vary but can include:
- Painful vision loss
- Gray spots in vision
- Double vision
- Clumsiness or weakness of any limb
- Bladder changes
What are the types of Multiple Sclerosis?
Relapsing MS and Progressive MS are the two major types of Multiple Sclerosis. Relapsing MS is like a roller coaster or a wave with ups and downs. You will have periods of symptoms followed by lengths of times without any symptoms. Progressive MS does not have the ups and downs but you have a steady worsening of symptoms over time. Over 90% people have relapsing Multiple Sclerosis.
How is Multiple Sclerosis diagnosed?
There is no definitive test for MS. The diagnosis process is complex and takes time. The provider will take a thorough patient history, order a MRI and labs to rule out other autoimmune diseases. Then they will examine the diagnostic results and coordinate them with the patient’s symptoms to come to the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis disease.
When should I see my doctor if I think I have Multiple Sclerosis?
It is very important to see your doctor if you suspect you may have MS. Multiple Sclerosis is a progressive disease and studies show that early interventions are effective for slowing that progression. The more damage you have to your nervous system, the more difficult it will be for your body to combat and will increase your chances of permanent disability.
What are the different treatment options for Multiple Sclerosis patients?
In the past, MS was primarily treated with injectable medications but since the year 2000 the disease modifying therapies have expanded to pills and infusions. It’s important to note that the treatments don’t cure the disease but help prevent future relapses. Talk to your provider to find out the best treatment options for you in your stage of the disease.
What is the life expectancy of Multiple Sclerosis patients?
There is a lot of hope for the MS patient. Life expectancy is only shortened by a few months and the disease itself is rarely fatal. It is not a cookie cutter disease which means that no two patients have the same prognosis or response to treatment. The focus is to prevent permanent disability which means early diagnosis and treatment are essential.
Does Multiple Sclerosis affect my ability to think?
It’s documented that between 40-60% of MS patients struggle with cognitive impairments such as: memory, word finding, and processing difficulties. Your provider can refer you to therapists, such as occupational therapists, who can help you manage this issue.
Is there a special diet for Multiple Sclerosis patients?
Experts are still studying the role of diet for the MS patient. Generally it’s important to focus on a diet that avoids processed foods and sugars, limits carbs and contains lots of greens. Brain healthy foods are important too; read our 6 Keys to Brain Health to learn more about the brain healthy diet.
How do I recognize a Multiple Sclerosis flare up or relapse?
A relapse or flare up occurs when your MS symptoms get worse or you have new ones. A relapse can continue for days, weeks or even months. Here are some important points to remember about relapse:
- Symptoms last for over 24 hours
- No sign of fever
- No sign of infection
- Nothing else to account for symptoms
Neuroscience Group is the only MRI in the area that offers our particular software package in order to measure brain volume. Everyone’s brains shrinks with age. Shrinkage rates, or atrophy rates in multiple sclerosis patients, are substantially, or can be substantially higher. And in those folks who’ve got multiple sclerosis without more brain volume or brain reserve, they have an ability to progress or worsen or get more disability.
We offer the only Icobrain MRI in northeast Wisconsin. This new technology measures brain volume in Multiple Sclerosis patients allowing for earlier diagnosis, prediction of disability and disease progression. This improves the quality of life for our patients.
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