Multiple sclerosis (MS) causes damage to the protective layer of myelin that covers nerves in the spine and brain. As it progresses, this damage interferes with the nervous system's ability to communicate throughout the body.
At Dignity Health, your care team — including neurologists, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, nutritionists, and other specialists — wants to help you maximize your good days. Barrow MS Center, part of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, offers clinical trials, modern facilities, and expert staff who are board certified and fellowship trained in the treatment of multiple sclerosis in Arizona. We participate in the North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis (NARCOMS) to help keep you up to date on the latest clinical trials and treatments.
Call (855) 900-9813 or Find a Doctor online today. We also provide treatment for multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions at:
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis causes the myelin sheath — the protective covering that surrounds nerves like insulation around a wire — to break down in many places. This interferes with the ability of nerves to send high-speed messages and can even prevent them from signaling at all. Damage to the myelin sheath is what causes multiple sclerosis symptoms, such as problems with vision or walking. The symptoms you experience depend on which nerves are damaged and stop working.
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes multiple sclerosis, but they know the immune system is involved. The immune system is what attacks and destroys myelin. It’s not clear how this process starts.
Exposure to certain environmental factors and infections may increase your risk of developing multiple sclerosis. Your genes may also play a role. You are more likely to have MS if you have a parent or sibling with the disease. Multiple sclerosis is more common among Caucasian females, but people of any gender or ethnicity can be affected.
Symptoms of MS
Multiple sclerosis symptoms vary widely. The disease blocks or interrupts communication in brain and spinal nerves. Common MS symptoms include:
- Loss of coordination
- Tingling sensations
- Muscle weakness
- Problems with memory and thinking
Multiple Sclerosis Treatment at Dignity Health
There is no cure for multiple sclerosis. Treatments focus on improving quality of life, managing symptoms, and slowing the progression of myelin sheath damage. Treatment options include therapy for mood and cognitive issues, medications, and physical and occupational rehabilitation.
Dignity Health provides diagnosis and treatment for multiple sclerosis in Arizona.