Our Approach to Treating Multiple Sclerosis
What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis is generally believed to be an autoimmune disease. Normally, the immune system, which is composed of different types of immune cells and proteins, recognizes an individual’s body as “Self’ and protects it from outside or “non-self” entities, such as germs. The central nervous system or CNS ( brain, optic nerve, and spinal cord) usually does not allow most immune cells and proteins to enter. In MS, the immune system no longer recognizes parts of the central nervous system as “Self’ and gains the ability to get into the CNS and to attack the nerves.
What Causes MS?
The trigger that causes the immune system to attack the CNS is currently unknown. It is thought that MS develops in an individual as a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental influences.
These precise genes and environmental factors have yet to be conclusively identified.
MS Risk Factors:
- Adolescent obesity,
- Low Vitamin D levels in early life
- Having a close family member with MS
Who Gets MS?
MS is the second most common cause of neurologic disability in young persons and usually presents between ages 20-50. It affects women almost 3 times as often as men and is more common in Caucasians.
What Causes Symptoms in MS?
What Are The Symptoms Of MS?
Because MS attacks multiple parts of the CNS, it can produce many different symptoms.
Common MS symptoms include:
- Numbness or tingling
- Visual disturbances
- Muscle spasms
- Change in bladder, bowel or sexual dysfunction
- Problems with mood and memory and thinking
How Is MS Treated?
There are two categories of treatment for persons with MS.
Disease Modifying Therapies (DMT)
DMT are medications that interfere with the immune system’s ability to attack the nerves.
They help prevent future areas of nerve damage, and slow disease progression. They do not reverse existing scars or treat symptoms.
Most symptoms of MS can be greatly relieved or ameliorated.
This usually involves a combination of appropriate medications and other treatment modalities such as rehabilitative therapies, equipment, lifestyle practices and alternative and complementary therapies where appropriate.
Multiple Sclerosis Specialist
The Pacific Brain Health Center is dedicated to providing comprehensive and holistic care to patients with multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Barbara S. Giesser, FAAN, FANA, is an internationally recognized clinician and award-winning educator who has specialized in the care of persons with Multiple Sclerosis since 1982.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us at 310-582-7613.