Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a crippling disease affecting the central nervous system, which consists of the brain and spinal cord. Instead of attacking harmful bacteria, MS causes the body’s immune system to destroy the protective layer (called the myelin sheath) that covers nerves. The nerve cell bodies, located in the brain’s grey matter, can be damaged, eventually causing the brain’s cortex to atrophy, or shrink. Because the nerves help transmit messages from the central nervous system to other body parts, they play a large part in controlling muscle movement. The irreversible damage to the nerves often results in losing the ability to walk or speak clearly. Although myelin can grow back, it doesn’t grow fast enough to counter the disease’s damage.
The UAB Multiple Sclerosis Center offers a wide variety of services for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and related disorders. Led by neurologists who are experts in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of MS and other immune-based disorders of the central nervous system, our clinic actively follows more than 1,500 MS patients.
Our Multiple Sclerosis Center has been positively recognized for our care of MS patients. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has designated UAB as a Center for Comprehensive MS Care, which is the highest level in its three-tiered system. UAB is one of only seven such centers within a 200-mile radius of Birmingham. Our Center also is an affiliate of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers.
UAB Multiple Sclerosis Center patients may be referred for specialized services, including neuroimaging, neurophysiological testing, physical and occupational therapy, and neuropsychological evaluation. We also refer patients to other UAB Medicine specialists, including neuro-ophthalmologists, urologists, physiatrists, and pain management physicians, and we work closely with your primary physician on your overall care plan. Our doctors and nurses collaborate in a patient-centered manner to ensure that you and your family experience seamless care that is backed by knowledge, innovation, and compassion.
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