Multiple Sclerosis Patient Care
Dramatic advances have been made recently in the treatment of MS. In the past, no particularly effective therapies were available to change the course of disease. That has changed! The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved six medications for the treatment of MS. Four of these are commonly used as initial therapies:
- Interferon beta-1b (Betaseron)
- Interferon beta-1 once weekly (Avonex)
- Interferon beta-1a three-times-weekly (Rebif)
- Glatiramer acetate (Copaxone)
Mitoxantrone (Novantrone) is a chemotherapy medication that is typically used for people who do not respond to the other four medications. In 2006, the FDA also approved Ntalizumab (Tysabri) as another MS medication. All of these drugs decrease the number and severity of relapses, slow the progression of the disease, and decrease the development of new brain lesions.
In addition to these medications, several other medications are used to treat MS. Steroids are used for exacerbations (attacks). These may be taken orally (Prednisone, Dexamethasone) or intravenously (Methylprednisolone or Solu-Medrol). Some chemotherapy medications other than Mitoxantrone, including Methotrexate, Azathioprine (Imuran), and Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), occasionally are used in an attempt to slow disease progression.
Who Should Use Medication?
Because of the positive effects of the FDA-approved medications, all people with MS should be strongly considered for treatment with one of these drugs. A 1998 statement by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society emphasized the importance of treatment. The statement recommended that treatment with these medications should be started soon after an MS diagnosis is made and should be considered in all people with MS, regardless of age, rate of relapses and level of disability.
Rehabilitation & Psychological/Social Work Services
Given the wide range of symptoms caused by MS, multiple treatment approaches are possible. Therapies for symptoms include medication-based and non-medication approaches. Effective non-medication approaches include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and psychotherapy. Common MS symptoms that are treated using these therapies include fatigue, depression, weakness, incoordination, walking difficulties, stiffness, bowel and bladder disorders, and sexual difficulties.
Many CNI MS patients benefit from rehabilitation services at the CNI NeuroHealth Center, located only a few steps away from our office. The CNI NeuroHealth Center is an outpatient neuro-rehabilitation clinic offering speech, occupational and physical therapy services. Patients include those in need of rehabilitation therapy for not only MS, but also Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury, peripheral neuropathy, brain tumors, gait abnormalities, progressive supranuclear palsy, and many other conditions. All services are delivered in one location, optimizing convenience and resources.
Dedicated to helping patients achieve their highest level of function, the CNI NeuroHealth Center emphasizes a team approach, wellness education and community reintegration. With a team of highly-trained therapists, the center participates in monthly clinics, research, and professional training in the area of neurological rehabilitation. Patients from across the Rocky Mountain region are referred to the CNI NeuroHealth Center for top-quality rehabilitation therapy.
Comprehensive services and resources at the CNI NeuroHealth Center include:
- Physical, occupational and speech therapy by qualified therapists.
- Services for patients with Medicare, most major insurance plans, and private pay.
- Services to medically uninsured and underinsured patients through the generous support of our donors.
- Social work services to evaluate current benefits, identify additional services available in the community and connect the client with these services.
- Special programs and equipment, including LSVT Loud training for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease, Vital Stim training for swallowing disorders, LiteGait partial body weight support for individuals learning to walk and working on balance.
- Scholarship assistance for neuro-optometry, neuropsychological and driving evaluations and the purchase of small durable medical equipment.
- Education on disease processes as part of therapy treatment.
- Multidisciplinary clinics with CNI physicians including Vision, Spasticity/Movement Disorders and Huntington’s disease.
- Specialized seating and equipment evaluations.
- Team communication and case management.
For more information on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Therapies |click here|
Upcoming “All Current MS Treatments & MS Relapse Program”
Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 at the Denver Marriott South, Lone Tree
THE MS Views and News invites you to an informative educational program presented by neurologist Allen Bowling, MD regarding the latest FDA approved treatment options and MS Relapse. Also gain insight into complementary therapies and nutrition. Additionally Ellen Belle MA PT MSCS, Colorado Neurological Institute’s Director of Patient Services will lead a discussion “The Benefits of Exercise with MS” on how to reduce painful spasticity.
RSVP online at: events.msvn.org or call (203) 550-7703. Complimentary dinner is included.
For more information download the flyer: