Gundersen has a team of Multiple Sclerosis specialists who seek to diagnose and arrange an effective treatment plan that will help slow the disease progression, manage the symptoms and increase quality of life. The specialists involved in a patient’s care may include those from Neurology, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Pain Medicine, Urology, Behavioral Health, Ophthalmology, Physical and Occupational Therapy and more. Patients can expect individualized, expert care close to home.
What is multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system—which is made up of your brain and spinal cord. MS is caused by inflammation and damage to the nerve cells as well as damage to the protective covering that surrounds those nerve cells. When this nerve covering is damaged, nerve impulses are slowed down or interrupted. Damage to the nerve cell can be permanent.
MS is a progressive disease, meaning the nerve damage gets worse over time, though how quickly MS gets worse varies from person to person. Most patients first begin to have symptoms between 20 and 50 years old.
Symptoms of multiple sclerosis
Symptoms of MS vary because the location and severity of each attack can be different. Some symptoms include:
- Loss of balance
- Muscle spasms
- Numbness or abnormal sensation in any area
- Tingling, crawling or burning feeling in the arms and legs
- Weakness in one or more arms or legs
- Vision problems
Treatments we offer
There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis at this time. However, there are therapies that may slow the disease. The goal of treatment is to control symptoms and help maintain a normal quality of life. Some of the medications that may be used include:
- Steroids to decrease the severity of attacks
- Medications to control symptoms
- Medications to slow the disease process
An MS certified nurse is also available to provide disease management training with patients. If a patient needs injected medications to manage symptoms, patients learn how to do their own injections right at Gundersen.