Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects your central nervous system – the brain, spine and optic nerves. When you have MS, your body’s immune system attacks nerve fibers, which are similar to electrical wiring. When this wiring is damaged, your brain cannot properly deliver messages to the rest of your body. This is why the disease can affect your entire body, from memory issues and fatigue to the ability to walk or see.
The disease varies in its severity; the mild cases sometimes go undetected while more severe MS may reduce longevity. There are four general “disease courses” that many patients go through. Knowing which course or type of MS you have can help you receive the right type of care.
- Relapsing-Remitting - you experience spans of time where symptoms may be light or you may not experience symptoms at all. Later, you may get “flare-ups” or strong symptoms for a span of time lasting from days to weeks.
- Secondary-Progressive - your symptoms get progressively worse without any periods of remission.
- Primary-Progressive - you do not have any distinct periods of remission.
- Progressive-Relapsing - you may progressively get worse, but also has periods of time when your symptoms suddenly worsen.
The causes of MS are not yet known but scientists theorize that it is the result of a virus or autoimmune condition in which the body becomes allergic to itself.
The neurologists at the UHealth Department of Neurology Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence are experts in the field of MS and can help you to reach a diagnosis quickly and accurately.
The purpose of an MRI is to look at images for evidence of damage in the brain or spinal cord, such as a lesion (or white spot) on the brain.
Lumbar Puncture (Spinal Tap)
This is a lab test that studies the fluid in your spineand helps to rule out other illnesses that have similar symptoms as MS, such as lupus or lyme disease.
Blood glucose test
While people with cystic fibrosis initially make some – but not enough – insulin, by the time they are adults, more than half of the patients have cystic fibrosis-related diabetes. Blood glucose and other tests can help diagnose this type of diabetes.
Disease modifying therapies are just that – therapies that change the course of your MS and slow the progression of the disease. There are more than 10 different therapies available today and that number is growing. These medicines may be pills, shots or even intravenous (IV) infusions, each with their own benefits and side effects.
Symptomatic treatments address the actual symptoms associated with MS. This is a disease that can affect your entire body and different symptoms may come and go. Our medical team can customize your treatment plan to address your unique symptoms. A physical therapist can help you with exercises or stretching that will increase your movement or decrease your pain. A urologist can help prescribe medication for bowel incontinency. A neuropsychologist can help with fatigue or depression issues.
Why Choose UHealth?
Your partner in helping you treat and manage your MS. Our Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence is dedicated to providing the best in diagnostic tools and comprehensive care to our patients. We are not just a team of neurologists – we believe in providing our patients with a multi-disciplinary approach through highly specialized, expert care from our:
- Occupational therapists
- Physical therapists
- Speech therapies
- Social workers
Center for comprehensive MS care. The Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence is a National MS Society of South Florida affiliated program which offers services in a state-of-the-art clinic. Patients are seen by one of five MS neurologists by appointment. We offer access to a full array of medical, psycho-social and rehabilitation services delivered in a coordinated fashion where providers share common goals for patient outcomes.
State-of-the-art facilities. You will have access to better diagnostic tools to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment to help reduce long-term disability. At our infusion lab, you can receive intravenous drug therapy and neurological imaging that uses MRI to track the disease.
Our commitment to our patients. We are focused on your specific needs. That is why we insist on doing everything possible to establish and enhance a strong quality of life for our MS patients and their families.
Education and empowerment. We empower our patients and their families to learn about and take charge of their treatment by educating themselves. We provide extensive resources for effectively managing MS and its symptoms and we encourage our patients to live life to the fullest, including working and remaining active in their communities.
Questions? We're here to help.
Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.