Multiple Sclerosis

Around the globe, more than 2 million people live with multiple sclerosis. If you experience numbness or tingling in your arms and legs, a tremor or increased levels of fatigue, make an appointment with us today. Our neurologists are able to diagnose and treat multiple sclerosis from the comfort of our state-of-the-art office

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis, also referred to as MS, is a disease in which the immune system attacks myelin, the protective layer of fatty material surrounding each nerve in your body. This attack leads to inflammation throughout your body as well as the development of scar tissue on your nerves.

MS tends to develop over time; some people experience steady progression in their condition while others go through periods of relapse and remit. A relapse, or flare up, is marked by an increase in symptoms, and the time between relapses varies from months to years depending on the patient.

While we haven’t pinpointed the direct cause of MS, many doctors attribute it to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Women are two to three times more likely to develop it, suggesting that hormones also play an important role.

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of MS are varied and unpredictable and range in severity between patients. Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Blurred or double vision, or complete loss of vision in one eye
  • Difficulty walking or loss of coordination
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Fatigue that interferes with everyday life
  • Numbness or a tingling sensation in the face, body, arms or legs
  • Pain or itching throughout the body
  • Stiffness and muscle spasms, especially in legs
  • Tremors, or uncontrollable shaking
How Is It Diagnosed?

Our neurologists look for at least two areas of the central nervous system as well as evidence that damage occurred at different points in time. They’ll also need to rule out other potential diagnoses. To do this, they’ll perform a combination of tests to get the full scope of your unique symptoms, including:

  • Blood tests
  • Lumbar puncture (also known as a spinal tap, this tests the cerebrospinal fluid)
  • MRI
  • Sensory evoked potentials (this test measures the brain’s electrical activity in response to stimulation)
How Is It Treated?

Currently, there is no cure for MS, but your physician can develop a treatment plan that targets your specific symptoms while preventing the disease from progressing. Some treatment plans utilize corticosteroids to reduce inflammation while others include “disease-modifying” medications that reduce the severity of MS attacks and slow progression by limiting the number of new lesions in the central nervous system. Many plans also incorporate medications and physical therapy to manage the symptoms of MS.