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Think Neuro Podcast
December 15, 2021

Scanning the Eye for Signs of Multiple Sclerosis | Dr. Barbara Giesser and Dr. Howard Krauss

by Anthony Effinger

The Think Neuro podcast from Pacific Neuroscience Institute takes you into the clinic, operating room and laboratory with doctors and surgeons who are tackling the most challenging brain diseases and disorders. Host: Anthony Effinger

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Episode 23: Show Notes

When people think about multiple sclerosis, they don’t often think about the eye, but vision problems are often the first signs of MS. The disease is caused by an aberrant immune response that attacks the central nervous system, which includes the brain, the spinal cord, and the optic nerve. And the optic nerve is where MS often reveals itself. Dr. Barbara Giesser specializes in the treatment of MS patients. She turns to her colleague, neuro-ophthalmologist Dr. Howard Krauss, for confirmation of early suspected MS diagnosis.

Using a powerful imaging technology called optical coherence tomography, Krauss can see changes in the optic nerve long before an MRI scan would pick up evidence of MS in nerves elsewhere in the body. Monitoring the optic nerve after a diagnosis gives valuable clues as to whether MS treatments are working. Listen to this discussion to learn more about how this unlikely partnership is changing lives, and how, when it comes to MS, the eye truly is a window onto the body.

About Dr. Barbara Giesser

Barbara Giesser, MD

Dr. Barbara S. Giesser, FAAN, FANA, is an internationally recognized clinician and award-winning educator who has specialized in Multiple Sclerosis since 1982. She received her BS from the University of Miami, her MS from the University of Texas School of Biomedical Sciences in Houston, and her MD from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.  Dr. Giesser’s approach to the diagnosis & management of persons with MS combines state of the art diagnostics and a personalized medication plan for each patient with an emphasis on integrating lifestyle and wellness strategies into the neurologic treatment plan.

About Dr. Howard Krauss

Howard R. Krauss, MD

Howard R. Krauss, MD, is one of the four founders of Pacific Neuroscience Institute, and a Director of the Pacific Eye, Ear and Skull Base Center. He is a surgical neuro-ophthalmologist specializing in diagnostic neuro-ophthalmology, including visual field analysis and ocular coherence tomography, as well as strabismus, orbital and anterior skull base surgery. He cares for all varieties of eye and vision problems including eyelid disorders, ocular and orbital pain, double vision, neurologic or brain disorders, circulatory disorders and inflammation, injury and tumors of the eye socket (orbit), face, head, or brain. He offers comprehensive ophthalmic services, as well as the more complex specialty procedures including oculoplastic surgery, adult strabismus surgery and orbital and anterior skull base surgery. Dr. Krauss’ philosophy is to deliver the best eye care and vision solutions while considering the needs and preferences of his patients.

Check Out More Think Neuro Podcast Episodes

About the Author

Anthony Effinger

Anthony Effinger

Think Neuro's host is Anthony Effinger, an award-winning journalist who is fascinated with neuroscience and the workings of the brain. Anthony spent 24 years at Bloomberg News, where he covered all aspects of finance, with forays into science and health. In 2006, the Association of Health Care Journalists awarded him first prize for Playing the Odds, an in-depth piece on the changing strategies used to treat prostate cancer. These days, he is a staff writer at Willamette Week, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Last updated: January 13th, 2022