Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable and complex neurological condition that requires highly specialized care from an experienced team of neurologists.

Baptist Health Brain & Spine Care specialists offer the latest diagnostic and treatment options for people with MS.

Our Approach to Multiple Sclerosis Care

Our Approach to Multiple Sclerosis Care

When you choose Baptist Health for MS care, you can expect:

  • A personalized approach to care focused on reducing relapses and minimizing the side effects of your MS
  • A team of experts specially trained in MS and autoimmune disorders
  • Access to the latest diagnostic technologies and treatment options, including an on-site specialty pharmacy to help with medication management

What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

MS is a chronic autoimmune condition affecting the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). With MS, your immune system mistakenly attacks the protective covering of nerve fibers (myelin). This attack leads to nerve fiber damage and inflammation.

Nerve fiber damage causes a wide range of symptoms, including:

  • Cognitive problems
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Poor coordination and balance
  • Vision problems

MS can also affect bladder control, speech, concentration and memory.

There is no single known cause for MS. Research has linked MS to genetic risk factors and exposure to certain viruses and environmental factors, like reduced sun exposure, smoking and childhood obesity.

Anyone can develop MS, but some people are more likely than others to develop the condition. Women are two to three times more likely to get MS than men. MS is also more common among people aged 20-50, although it can affect children.

MS cannot be cured, but many new therapies can help manage symptoms, improve quality of life and slow disease progression.

Types of Multiple Sclerosis

The Baptist Health Brain & Spine Care team treats all types of MS, including:

  • Primary-progressive MS (PPMS). MS that develops slowly and has no periods of improvement.
  • Progressive-relapsing MS (PRMS). MS that constantly worsens with occasionally increasing symptoms followed by partial recovery.
  • Secondary-progressive MS (SPMS). MS that may come and go, but then develops into a more severe condition, with or without occasional flare-ups.
  • Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). MS with periods of new or worsening symptoms followed by times of partial or full recovery.

In addition to MS, our team also treats related autoimmune disorders, such as:

  • Ataxia
  • Autoimmune encephalitis
  • Autoimmune epilepsy
  • Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD)
  • Neurosarcoidosis
  • Optic neuritis

How Is Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosed?

MS can be difficult to diagnose and is often misdiagnosed. Getting the correct diagnosis is important for proper treatment.

To accurately diagnose MS, our team starts with a thorough consultation and exam. During this consultation, we’ll ask about your symptoms and health history, as well as your family’s health history.

We’ll also conduct tests to look for signs of MS or rule out any other conditions that could be causing your symptoms. These tests can include:

At Baptist Health, we have an in-office lumbar puncture clinic, so you get quick and convenient access to this important diagnostic test.

If tests reveal you have MS, our team will work with you to determine your MS type, which will help guide your treatment.

Available Multiple Sclerosis Treatments

Many medications are available today to help people with MS. Some work to slow the disease and reduce the number of flare-ups. Others can manage some MS symptoms, such as fatigue, stiffness, pain, bladder and bowel problems, or mood difficulties. Certain treatments can also reduce or help shorten the course of symptoms during an MS attack.

The Baptist Health Brain & Spine Care team offers every available treatment option for MS. Treatments may include:

  • Oral medications, including interferons, immunomodulators and immunosuppressants
  • Infusion therapy which may be taken monthly, every one to two months, or yearly
  • Physical therapy and neurorehabilitation

In some cases, we may use a combination of these treatments.

We tailor every treatment plan to your needs. Our goal is to find a therapy that fits your type of MS, addresses your symptoms and best works with your lifestyle.

We have an on-site specialty pharmacy to help prepare MS medications. This team also works with your insurance and other resources to ensure your treatments are approved and affordable.

Support After a Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis

An MS diagnosis can be difficult to accept and navigate. At Baptist Health, we have a patient support group designed to help you understand your diagnosis and treatment plan. This group, led by a patient navigator, offers mental health support and can connect you with larger groups and resources.

Participants affected by disabilities caused by MS have also found this support group helpful as they work to understand their rights and necessary accommodations.

The support group meets on Zoom the second Friday of every month. If you would like to join the group, email us for more information.

Baptist Health is proud to partner with many area MS organizations raising awareness for MS across South Florida.

Meet Our Multiple Sclerosis Specialist

Our team includes experts from several areas of medicine, including neurology, rehabilitation, pain management, psychiatry and pharmacy.

Our Locations

We provide care for multiple sclerosis throughout Palm Beach County. Find a location near you.

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