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Multiple Sclerosis

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Multiple sclerosis, often called MS, is a disease that affects the central nervous system—the brain and spinal cord. It can cause problems with muscle control and strength, vision, balance, feeling, and thinking.

MS is different for each person, but generally it follows one of four courses:

  • Relapsing-remitting, where symptoms fade and then return off and on for many years.
  • Secondary progressive, which at first follows a relapsing-remitting course and then becomes progressive. “Progressive” means it steadily gets worse.
  • Primary progressive, where the disease is progressive from the start.
  • Progressive relapsing, where the symptoms come and go but nerve damage steadily gets worse.

Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis

MultiCare Neuroscience Center of Washington offers comprehensive examinations and testing to accurately diagnose MS. We also provide physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to help reduce some physical problems caused by MS, and can help patients manage the medications they are taking to treat the disease.

Baclofen Pump Surgery

Baclofen is a medication commonly used to decrease spasticity — tight or stiff muscles that may interfere with voluntary muscle movements — related to multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, or other neurological diseases.

Baclofen can be taken orally as a pill or delivered directly into an area of the spine called the intrathecal space. The intrathecal baclofen pump system delivers the drug directly into the spinal fluid. The system consists of a catheter (a small, flexible tube) and a pump. The pump — a round metal disc, about one inch thick and three inches in diameter — is surgically placed under the skin of the abdomen near the waistline.

Patients with spasticity who are not responsive to or experience negative side effects may be candidates for this procedure.

Research

The MultiCare Neuroscience Center of Washington has been active in the search for new and innovative treatments for many of the devastating neurologic diseases that affect our community. The MultiCare Research Institute has partnered with the MultiCare Neuroscience Center of Washington to provide research opportunities to our community in many areas of neurologic science including multiple sclerosis.

John Huddlestone, MD and the site are nationally recognized for excellence. He has been involved in clinical trials for more then two decades. Trials are conducted at South Sound’s only nationally recognized Multiple Sclerosis Center.

Click to learn more about current clinical trials.

Providers

John R Huddlestone, MD
MS Center Director

For more information call, 253-403-7299