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Multiple Sclerosis

Our Approach to Treating Multiple Sclerosis

At Pacific Neuroscience Institute, care of persons with Multiple Sclerosis combines state of the art diagnostics and treatments with evidence-based recommendations for lifestyle practices.

This comprehensive strategy treats the whole person, with the goals of controlling disease activity while optimizing function and quality of life.

The person with MS is an important partner in all treatment decisions.  The MS clinic at PNI is recognized as a “Partner in Care” of the National MS Society.

Conditions We Treat

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Clinically Isolated syndrome
  • Neuromyelitis Optica
  • Transverse myelitis

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,
  • Smoking
  • 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?

Nerves are very similar to electrical cables and communicate by transmitting electrical & chemical signals. Many of them are coated with an insulating material, myelin, which helps the electrical signal be conducted in a swift and efficient manner. 

In MS, the myelin insulation is damaged or destroyed, and scar tissue or “sclerosis” occurs, leading to slowed or blocked transmission of electrical information.

In addition to myelin damage, the nerve wire or “Axon” is damaged as well. These areas of nerve damage can be seen on MRI  and are referred to as “plaques”.

Brain Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis | Source: Medscape

What Are The Symptoms Of MS?

Because MS attacks multiple parts of the CNS, it can produce many different symptoms.

Common MS symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Weakness
  • Incoordination
  • 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.

Symptoms Management

 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

Barbara Giesser MD

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.

Schedule a Multiple Sclerosis Consultation

Contact our clinic at: 310-582-7613

Schedule A Consultation – Multiple Sclerosis