Located in Owosso, Michigan, and serving patients in the surrounding area, Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience is an employed physician practice of Memorial Medical Associates, a department of Memorial Healthcare. Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience offers comprehensive services for patients with multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions.
What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune condition that affects the body’s central nervous system. When a patient has multiple sclerosis, their immune system attacks the protective sheath that covers nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord, called myelin. The damage to myelin makes it difficult for the brain to communicate with the rest of the body.
Multiple sclerosis can affect a person’s vision, movements, and cognitive ability. Symptoms may include:
- Blurry vision
- Lack of coordination or unsteady gait
- Numbness or weakness in the limbs
- Prolonged double vision
- Slurred speech
- Tingling or pain in parts of the body
MS can be relapsing-remitting, meaning the patient experiences flare-ups and periods of remission, or progressive, meaning a patient’s neurologic functions steadily deteriorate.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Multiple sclerosis can be challenging to diagnose. In addition to a comprehensive physical examination, the neurology team at Memorial Healthcare may use the following tests to arrive at a diagnosis:
- Blood work
- Lumbar puncture
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Evoked potentials (nerve function) test
While there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, medications can help manage symptoms and minimize flare-ups. Medications may be administered orally or intravenously. Some patients benefit from disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), drugs that slow the progression of multiple sclerosis. Patients may also be prescribed muscle relaxants or medication that reduces fatigue.
Lifestyle changes may help mitigate symptoms in some patients. These include:
- Eating a balanced diet
- Getting sufficient sleep and exercise
- Avoiding alcohol and tobacco
- Managing stress with tools like meditation and yoga
Some patients also benefit from physical therapy, which can help manage the leg weakness and gait problems that are often associated with MS.