Multiple Sclerosis Care Center Program
Multiple Sclerosis Care Center Program
Multiple Sclerosis – often referred to as MS - is a chronic, sometimes progressive disease of the Central Nervous System (including the brain and spinal cord) that affects more than 400,000 people in the United States. MS is typically diagnosed when the patient is between 20 and 40 years old, with more women than men affected. Scientists are still working to determine the causes of MS. Some believe that MS is the result of an autoimmune response in the body that causes damage to healthy tissues. Others believe that a virus is involved in causing the disease. Research is ongoing to determine the causes of MS and target treatments toward the underlying mechanisms of the disease. Symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from person to person, depending on the area of the nervous system that is affected. Symptoms may include:
- Loss of coordination
- Vision disturbances
- Sensory disturbances
- Memory loss
- Cognitive problems
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Speech problems
No two individuals with MS are exactly alike. That’s why medical care should be individualized and involve the patient in the decision-making.
University of Louisville's MS Care Center Program provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for each patient - with access to the full range of medical expertise, without the inconvenience of multiple appointments and referrals.
The MS Care Center Program provides a broad spectrum of services including:
- Diagnostic evaluation and testing, including MRI, neurological examinations and laboratory testing.
- Rehabilitative assessment and services such as physical therapy and occupational therapy to help patients regain mobility and independence and speech therapy to overcome speech or swallowing problems.
- Evaluation and treatment of cognitive (thinking) problems and emotional problems by a specially trained neuropsychologist.
- Medication to improve symptoms and reduce the occurrence and severity of attacks, including newer drugs that have been shown to reduce progression or long-term disability in MS patients.
- Opportunity to participate in clinical studies examining new treatments for MS.
- Educational programs such as the Newly Diagnosed and Healthy Steps programs.
This patient-centered approach to MS primary care is designated to address each individual’s unique needs.
Our MS specialists are an interdisciplinary group of highly skilled and trained team members serving approximately 1000 MS patients with access to state-of-the-art technology, and up-to-the-minute research and drug therapies based on the MS Care Center Program’s participation in clinical trials.
ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT
The assessment, evaluation and treatment of MS patients begin with a highly-skilled team:
- MS Neurologists - lead the patient care team in creating and following an individualized plan of action.
- MS certified Nurse Practitioners – Provide evaluation, education and treatment
Michele Melton, NP
- Certified Clinical Research Coordinator/ MS Certified Nurse – works with patients and physicians involved in research studies and provides education and addresses concerns specific to MS patients and their families.
Angela Siegwald, RN, CCRC, MSCN, Research Manager has over 12 years of experience in the field of Multiple Sclerosis. She is a Multiple Sclerosis Certified Nurse as well as a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator. She coordinates and assists with the conduction of several MS clinical trials. Angela also helps provide counseling and education to MS patients and their families at the Baptist Hospital East Multiple Sclerosis Center.
In 2007, she was instrumental in initiating a monthly Newly Diagnosed MS program at the center.
- Infusion Nurse - provides the specialized expertise to assist patients with infusions used to manage MS and treat acute attacks (exacerbations).
- Neuropsychologist - helps address issues of cognitive (thinking) function and depression that maybe part of MS.
- Physical and Occupational Therapists - provide individualized rehabilitation treatment.
- Medical Assistants – coordinate care and medication support.
- Social Workers - offer support and referrals to appropriate community resources.
- Durable Medical Equipment - referrals can be made to obtain devices or equipment for home treatment.
- Specialist Referrals - referrals to specialists, such urologists to evaluate and manage MS-related problems or neuro-ophthalmologists to provide specialized assessment of MS-related vision and eye problems.
YOU CAN COUNT ON US
MS treatment should be as individual as you are. The MS Care Center Program sees patients at the following location:
UL Physicians Neurology
UL HealthCare MS Center
401 East Chestnut Street Suite 510
Louisville, KY 40202