Diagnosis and Treatment | Optimizing Function and Mobility | Research | Patient and Family Support | For More Information
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory and degenerative disease of the central nervous system, leading to symptoms that vary over time. Early diagnosis, institution of disease modifying therapies, and treatment of MS symptoms are all critical to preventing disability and maintaining a good quality of life.
The NorthShore Neurological Institute offers accessible, multidisciplinary care for patients with MS and related disorders, including optic neuritis and inflammatory and infectious myelitis or myelopathies. One of the state’s leading centers for Multiple Sclerosis treatment, NorthShore is a designated Comprehensive Center for MS care recognized by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Our experienced team includes fellowship-trained neurologists, neuro-ophthalmologists, neuropsychologists and a full complement of rehabilitation specialists who work together to develop a comprehensive multiple sclerosis treatment plan. We can also provide patients with referrals to other MS experts, including urologists, gynecologists and alternative medicine specialists. Our dedicated nurse coordinators participate in all aspects of patient care and serve as a continuous resource and point of contact for patients and their families.
Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Diagnosis
Comprehensive MS diagnosis and treatment at the Neurological Institute begins with a meeting between patients and a neurology specialist at one of several convenient NorthShore locations. We obtain a comprehensive history, conduct an in-depth physical evaluation, and diagnose the disorder using the latest technology—including advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), evoked potentials and lumbar punctures when indicated.
NorthShore offers the latest therapeutic multiple sclerosis treatment options, including the use of new “disease-modifying” oral medications. For the treatment of acute MS exacerbations, experienced healthcare staff at our infusion centers, located at all four NorthShore hospital locations, provide intravenous corticosteroids or infusion of other therapies, such as immunoglobulins and monoclonal antibodies. We also perform plasma exchange in some cases.
Our knowledgeable neurology and neurosurgery specialists also have extensive experience managing MS symptoms like spasticity, pain, numbness and weakness by using the latest drugs and leading-edge technologies, including implanted intrathecal baclofen pumps.
NorthShore offers severe spasticity management with a baclofen pump program to help patients achieve maximum functionality and improve their comfort with an implanted intrathecal baclofen pump. The program includes clinical evaluation, a baclofen screening test, pump implantation by a neurosurgery specialist and long-term titration and management.
Optimizing Function and Mobility
Since the progression and severity of MS can be highly variable, NorthShore neurologists focus on individualized management designed to improve patients’ quality of life. Our multidisciplinary team approach is an advantage in helping patients deal with the myriad challenges associated with MS, providing them with access to all resources required for multiple sclerosis treatment.
The Neurological Institute treats the whole person—not just the disease. That’s why our physiatry experts, who are trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation, are key physician members of the MS care team. These experts help maximize function by focusing on patients’ optimal mobility and ability to perform activities of daily living.
The physiatrists lead a skilled team of physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists who may recommend therapeutic interventions; appropriate assistive devices such as braces or walkers; and/or modifications in patients’ home or work environments, such as the installation of handrails in bathrooms to help keep individuals safe. Our rehabilitation team’s expertise ensures patients who are living with MS minimize disability and maximize function.
Research Means Patients Have Options
An increasing number of disease-modifying drugs are becoming a key component in long-term multiple sclerosis treatment. These therapeutic options focus on preventing relapses and disability progression. Our specialists participate in important Phase III and IV drug trials that help develop these pharmacologic therapies. NorthShore’s extensive clinical trial experience with the latest MS medications allows us to offer our patients access to new multiple sclerosis treatments and therapies that are not always available elsewhere.
The Neurological Institute MS team strives to keep abreast of a variety of promising advances in the field, from outcomes to quality of life measures, and to ensure patients have access to the latest information. By utilizing NorthShore’s award-winning electronic medical record system, we are collecting a comprehensive database to perform outcomes research and genetic analysis, expanding our knowledge of MS symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, and paving the way for groundbreaking research in the future.
Learn more about our Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Trials.
Patient and Family Support
Our specialists actively participate in community and regional patient-focused activities for MS. The Neurological Institute hosts a support group for MS patients the third Wednesday of every month from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Evanston Hospital.
For More Information
Please call 877.570.7020 for more information on diagnosing MS symptoms and on MS treatment or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.