Neurology Consulting, Inc.
Peter-Brian Andersson, MD, PhD
Neurology located in Tarzana, CA & Thousand Oaks, CA
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease that takes several different forms. Living with MS can be challenging, but Peter-Brian Andersson, MD, PhD, at Neurology Consulting, Inc. can help improve your quality of life and keep you active for longer. At his offices in Tarzana and Thousand Oaks, California, Dr. Andersson, who is fellowship-trained in multiple sclerosis, delivers the most effective treatments for the causes and effects of MS. Call Neurology Consulting, Inc. today to schedule a consultation or use the online form to book your appointment.
Multiple Sclerosis Q & A
What is multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis or MS is a chronic condition affecting your central nervous system (CNS). It causes a variety of neurological symptoms, which could include:
- Loss of balance
- Blurred or double vision
- Weakness in one or more limbs
- Muscle stiffness
- Urinary symptoms
- Cognitive problems
Your brain and spinal cord, which together form the CNS, are full of billions of nerves. If you have multiple sclerosis, a fault develops in your immune system that makes it attack the fatty coating called the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve cells. This process is known as demyelination.
MS can also damage nerve fibers in some cases. Damage to the myelin sheath and nerve fibers makes it harder for your brain and body to communicate, resulting in the typical symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
What types of multiple sclerosis are there?
Neurologists identify four different types of multiple sclerosis:
Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS)
With CIS, you experience the neurologic symptoms that demyelination and inflammation cause, but don't meet all the criteria for an MS diagnosis. If you have CIS, you're likely to develop the disease in full sometime in the future.
Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)
With RRMS, you alternate between periods when your symptoms are worse (a relapse) and when they improve (remission).
Secondary-progressive MS (SPMS)
SPMS is a progression of RRMS where the relapse and remission pattern stops. Your condition continues to deteriorate over time with SPMS.
Primary-progressive MS (PPMS)
PPMS doesn't feature any remission periods, but you could still have acute relapses where your condition deteriorates more quickly.
How is multiple sclerosis diagnosed?
Your symptoms might indicate that you have multiple sclerosis, but it's important to rule out other conditions that can cause similar problems. To confirm a diagnosis of MS, Dr. Andersson at Neurology Consulting, Inc. needs to find evidence of damage to your CNS that meets specific criteria.
To do this, you need to undergo blood tests, plus other types of tests such as a brain and spine MRI scan, a lumbar puncture to draw some spinal fluid, or electrical tests (evoked potentials) that can pick up nerve damage even when it isn't present on an MRI.
How is multiple sclerosis treated?
There's no cure for MS yet, but Dr. Andersson does provide highly effective treatments for the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
Medication plays a significant role in your treatment, helping to reduce inflammation and prevent new damage to your nerves. These medications are called disease-modifying therapies. You might take them orally, by injection, or intravenously (through a vein).
Learning to manage your MS by making changes to your lifestyle can help improve your quality of life and optimize function. Dr. Andersson can help you with this and with treatments that reduce the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. These include:
- Corticosteroids to reduce nerve inflammation
- Plasmapheresis (exchanging your blood plasma)
- Physical therapy
- Medications to reduce fatigue
- Mobility aids
- Muscle relaxants
- Medication to boost walking speed
- Pain relief medication
A healthy diet and regular exercise, as well as quitting bad habits like smoking, are also important in managing multiple sclerosis.
If you're concerned about any aspect of multiple sclerosis, call Neurology Consulting, Inc. today or book an appointment online.