Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Frequently Asked Questions
A multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis can bring unexpected changes to your life. At Cedars-Sinai, our team is here to help you face the future with confidence.
We provide answers to common questions about living with MS and the care you'll receive at Cedars-Sinai. If you need more information, a member of our team can assist you.
Common questions about MS include:
MS is an immune system disorder that attacks the central nervous system. These attacks leave scars that damage the protective tissue lining the nerves. There are many forms of multiple sclerosis.
When you have MS, you may experience:
- Attacks, during which existing symptoms get worse or new symptoms appear
- Remission, which happens when symptoms are less severe or disappear entirely
Neurologists specializing in MS help you receive the best possible care. Experts at Cedars-Sinai completed additional training, enabling us to deliver an accurate diagnosis and treatments that meet your needs. Meet our expert team.
MS specialists at Cedars-Sinai accurately diagnose MS. We stay up to date on the latest treatments, so you have access to the full range of MS medications. Our experience means you have options, even if standard treatments fail to relieve your symptoms. Read more about multiple sclerosis (MS) treatments.
Our commitment to delivering high-quality MS care has earned Cedars-Sinai national recognition. We are one of a few centers in California to earn the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Partner in MS Care – Center for Comprehensive Care designation.
Many people fear that they may have to give up their independence. At Cedars-Sinai, we tailor treatments to slow the progression of MS symptoms so you can live an active life.
But life with MS may be different:
- MS attacks can be unpredictable, causing symptoms to flare up suddenly.
- You will likely need to take medications every day to help control symptoms.
- Rehabilitation can help you cope with pain and muscle problems so you can still perform many of your daily activities.
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO), like MS, is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. NMO can lead to blindness and loss of sensation in other parts of your body.
At Cedars-Sinai, we offer specialized diagnostic tests and treatments for NMO. Our physicians have years of experience treating this rare condition. Our team includes a neurologist with additional training in ophthalmology. This specialist performs sophisticated tests so we can detect and treat NMO symptoms before they become severe.
It's a misconception that women with MS can't get pregnant. But women who wish to become pregnant need specialized care because MS medications can be harmful to the baby. Read more about MS and pregnancy.
Doctors at Cedars-Sinai help many women have healthy pregnancies and babies:
- Before pregnancy: We make a plan that includes a timeline for stopping MS medications. And you don't need to worry about how stopping or changing medications may affect your health. Women with MS who become pregnant often experience fewer or less severe symptoms.
- After your baby is born: We help you restart MS medications based on whether you wish to breastfeed. If you start experiencing MS attacks, we recommend treatment options to help you get relief.
Our experts are involved in MS research studies and national clinical trials. You have access to leading-edge care that is often not available elsewhere.
Our research interests include:
- Checking for certain proteins in the blood and spinal fluid to help confirm an MS diagnosis
- Establishing treatment pathways for newly diagnosed patients
- Using imaging tests to track how MS symptoms progress over time
- Developing online therapies to help people with MS cope with depression
This work is possible in part due to funding from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
What other organizations provide resources for people with MS?
Cedars-Sinai partners with local and national organizations to expand our reach in caring for people with MS. Through these partnerships, we raise awareness, perform additional research and help community members in need.
Our partners include: