Multiple sclerosis (MS)
About 2.3 million people worldwide have multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is an inflammatory disease in which the immune system acts against the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). The attacks that occur in MS are often disabling and unpredictable. Without treatment, the disease can progress more quickly or the symptoms can worsen. At Geisinger, your specialist will work with you to determine the most appropriate therapy to control your MS, with the goal of decreasing attacks and improving your quality of life.
MS can affect any part of the brain or spinal cord. It can produce a range of symptoms, from muscle weakness to vision problems to bladder issues. Working with a team of specialists from many disciplines can help you better manage MS.
What you should know about MS
- With MS, the myelin sheath (protective covering) of nerve fibers is damaged. This damage stops nerve impulses from traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord. The blocked signals are what produce the wide variety of symptoms.
- We diagnose MS by first ruling out other causes for your symptoms. Once we diagnose MS, we treat it aggressively, to slow down the progression of the disability.
Why choose Geisinger for the care of MS?
- Leading-edge medications: We have the latest FDA-approved medications for both relapsing-remitting and progressive MS. We are the only MS program in the region with the clinical experience to prescribe some of these new medications.
- Dedicated pharmacist for MS patients: We have two dedicated MS pharmacists for our patients. These pharmacists have in-depth expertise of MS medications and their side effects. They monitor patients very closely because the side effects of MS medications can be serious, even life-threatening. This ensures aggressive treatment protocols are producing effective and safe patient outcomes.
- Access to specialists in every discipline: MS can affect any part of the brain and spinal cord, causing a number of conditions or issues that interfere with a patient’s quality of life. We connect our patients to every specialist they may need, working closely with physical therapy, occupational therapy, urology and neuro-ophthalmology.
- Focus on education: MS is a complicated condition to understand. We believe the more educated our doctors and patients are, the better the outcomes will be. We offer a lecture series about MS, sharing the latest MS research information, treatment approaches, concepts and modern thinking.
We provide MS patients with a comprehensive care approach and individualized treatment. We ensure they are connected to the appropriate specialists who can address their symptoms.