Multiple Sclerosis

Watson Clinic’s Neurology department specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and management of multiple sclerosis.

Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the central nervous system – namely of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves.
In MS, the protective coating around nerve fibers known as myelin becomes damaged due to attacks and inflammation caused by the patient’s own immune system. This damage impairs communication between the brain and the rest of the body. Depending on where the nerve damage occurs, multiple sclerosis can cause a large variety of symptoms, including weakness, loss of coordination, vision difficulties, numbness and tingling, loss of bladder and bowel control, slurred speech, memory and cognitive problems. Symptoms from multiple sclerosis typically occur in a relapsing remitting fashion. This means that patients may have symptoms that last days to months, but then improve and the patient may be symptom free, until new symptoms occur sometime later. Over time, however, multiple sclerosis can lead to significant disability. Multiple sclerosis affects every patient differently. Some patients may be mildly affected. Some may have significant disability, especially if they are not properly diagnosed and treated.
Fortunately, many treatments are now available to alter the course of multiple sclerosis, and most patients with multiple sclerosis have a very good outcome, if they are properly diagnosed and treated. Sometimes the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is not straightforward because there is no one single test that proves the diagnosis. Treatment decisions can also be very complex, because many of the medicines used to treat multiple sclerosis have significant side effects, as well as substantial benefits. These treatment decisions and regimens must be carefully tailored for the needs of each individual patient. We strive to design a treatment strategy which takes account not only of the medical facts of each patient’s case, but also each patient’s individual lifestyle, values and beliefs.
For these and other reasons, it is very important for patients with multiple sclerosis or possible multiple sclerosis, as well as other related inflammatory and infectious diseases, to have  highly trained and experienced multiple sclerosis specialists and neurologists taking care of them.
Watson Clinic also has specialists and services in other areas which form important parts of the care team for multiple sclerosis patients. This includes urologist, physical therapists and neurocognitive testing.

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