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Neurology and Neuroscience

Multiple Sclerosis

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease in which the body's immune system attacks the myelin – the fatty sheath covering and insulating the nerve fibers that carry signals from the brain to other parts of the body. Nerve signals traveling through these damaged areas are distorted or interrupted, causing the symptoms that people with MS experience. Most patients (85 percent) initially have a "relapsing-remitting" form of the disease in which patients experience relapses (also called attacks, flares, or exacerbations) interspersed with periods of remission (few or no symptoms).

illustration, nerve fibers of patient with multiple sclerosis
In multiple sclerosis, the body's immune system attacks the myelin – the fatty sheath insulating the nerve fibers that carry signals from the brain to other parts of the body.

At NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, we provide comprehensive care for people with MS using a coordinated multidisciplinary approach. Specialists from different fields – including neurology, urology, psychiatry and neuropsychology, rehabilitative medicine, physical and occupational therapy, neuroradiology, neurosurgery, pain management, neuro-ophthalmology, clinical social work, and nursing – work as a team to care for each patient. We use the latest diagnostic methods and therapies to maximize function, improve quality of life, and increase independence for each patient.

NewYork-Presbyterian offers care and conducts research for multiple sclerosis at:

  • The Columbia University Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Care & Research Center, which is affiliated with the New York City Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • The Judith Jaffe Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Care & Research Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, which provides services for patients with multiple sclerosis, optic neuritis, and other autoimmune, inflammatory demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system

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