Answers to Common Neuromuscular Health Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about neuromuscular health.

How is MS managed?

MS is managed by disease-modifying therapies (DMT). Our goal is to find the right therapy for the patient so that they no longer have relapses, disability progression or an increase in the lesions seen with MRI. If we don't achieve that goal and the patient does experience relapses, then we treat the relapses with other medications. A short course (three to five days) of high doses of steroids is usually the first thing we try for relapses, but there are other options as well. 

In addition to finding the right DMT and treating relapses if they occur, we also treat the symptoms that the patient's MS has caused. This is important because even the best DMT for a patient will not take away the damage that their MS has already caused. The symptoms have to be addressed separately. This is not always easy, because finding a solution to one symptom often creates or worsens other symptoms. For instance, if a patient's MS has caused pain or muscle spasms, many of the treatments we have can worsen their fatigue and suppress their cognitive function. Finding the right balance to help patients function as well as possible is often the most challenging part of caring for MS patients.

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Source: Tracy Eicher, MD, Clinical Neuroscience Institute