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A top, national multiple sclerosis program right here in southeast Michigan
Wayne Health’s Multiple Sclerosis (MS) program is one of the top MS programs in North America, right here in your backyard.
The Multiple Sclerosis Center serves a population of more than 4,000 MS patients with the largest group of African American patients in the country. It is designated by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society as a Center for Comprehensive MS Care and is a member of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers. It is nationally and internationally recognized for patient care, innovative technology and leading-edge research. Our providers are a group of highly experienced MS specialists who offer high-quality care, while working closely with other specialists to care for you, including neuropsychologists, urologists, physical, occupational and speech therapists. We care for patients with a wide range of autoimmune disorders who come to us from around the state, country and world.
The MS Clinic coordinates comprehensive multidisciplinary care for thousands of patients. We also coordinate care with the services offered to MS patients by the National MS Society.
Multiple sclerosis, also called MS, is a disease that can affect the brain, spinal cord and nerves to the eyes. MS can cause problems with muscle control and strength, vision, balance, feeling and thinking. Whatever your symptoms, taking medicine correctly and following your doctor’s advice for home care can help you maintain your quality of life.
The symptoms of MS vary from person to person. Which symptoms you have will depend on which parts of the brain or spinal cord (central nervous system) are damaged. The loss of myelin and scarring caused by MS can affect any part of the central nervous system. Myelin is the insulating coating around a nerve. Symptoms may come and go, or become more or less severe from day-to-day or, in rare cases, from hour-to-hour. Symptoms may get worse with increased body temperature or after a viral infection.
Common early symptoms of MS include:
Muscle or motor symptoms
These include weakness, leg dragging, stiffness, a tendency to drop things, a feeling of heaviness, clumsiness and a lack of coordination (ataxia).
These include blurred, foggy, or hazy vision, eyeball pain (especially when you move your eyes), blindness or double vision. Optic neuritis, sudden loss of vision that is often painful, is a fairly common first symptom.
These include tingling, a pins-and-needles sensation, numbness, a band of tightness around the trunk or legs, and electrical sensations moving down the back and legs.
As MS progresses, symptoms may become more severe. They may include:
Experts don’t know why MS happens to some people but not others. There may be a genetic link, because the disease seems to run in families. Where you grew up may also play a role. MS is more common in people who grew up in colder regions that are farther away from the equator.
Diagnosing MS isn’t always easy. The first symptoms may be vague. And many of the symptoms can be caused by problems other than MS.
An MRI is often used to confirm the diagnosis. That’s because the patches of damage (lesions) caused by MS attacks can be seen with this test.
Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic progressive disease of the central nervous system with variable manifestations, severity and prognosis. Diagnosis and treatment can be challenging. Because several conditions can mimic MS, a correct diagnosis is critical to a successful therapeutic approach.
Some of the conditions that can mimic MS include:
We provide consultations for a large number of patients with early MS, benign or aggressive MS, MS patients who are considering pregnancy, MS patients with co-morbidities, and healthy individuals with abnormal MRI scans. We offer comprehensive evaluation and treatment, including involvement in clinical trials, if appropriate and desired.
Special circumstances, such as pregnancy and delivery, excessive stress, or a new diagnosis, may add a significant burden on a woman with MS. We monitor, support and advise patients before, during and after pregnancy. Patients with abnormal MRI scans, but who are otherwise healthy, are closely examined and monitored.
Wayne Health uses the latest tools and technologies for diagnosis including: MRI scans, laboratory testing, lumbar puncture (spinal tap), Evoked Potential (EP) testing and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT).
Because we participate in numerous clinical trials, our patients have access not only to approved FDA treatments, but also to investigational drugs. We emphasize an individualized approach, as MS is a multi-faceted and unpredictable disease. Our mission is to provide the best and most compassionate care, to control the disease and to minimize its impact on a patient’s quality of life. This is an extraordinary time for MS, as there is an explosion of new knowledge and new treatment options.
Dealing with the demands of MS isn’t easy. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to your doctor. You may be depressed, which can be treated. A support group can also help.
Physicians and researchers at Wayne Health are also faculty at Wayne State University School of Medicine. We conduct basic, translational and clinical research that can make the latest treatments and clinical trials available to you sooner than other providers without a medical school affiliation, and before FDA approval or commercial availability.
As leaders in medical research, we participate in numerous clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of new treatments that target not only the disease process, but also symptoms of disease. Our research team has conducted more than 80 clinical trials, with more than 20 active clinical trials at any given time, including multicenter and investigator-initiated investigations.
For more information, please visit the links below at the WSU School of Medicine.