In this disease, the primary cause of disability among young adults aside from traumatic injury, the body’s immune system damages areas of the brain and spinal cord. When the Multiple Sclerosis Program at UPHS was established in 1980, MS was, for the most part, an untreatable disease. While there’s still no cure, scientists here have contributed to modern methods of diagnosis, such as using MRI to measure disease activity, and to the development of treatment therapies to manipulate the immune system. Some of world’s leading MS clinicians and researchers have been trained here. Patients are seen by neurologists, pain-management physicians and physical therapists, all well-versed in the latest treatments and clinical trials. These specialists create personalized protocols with medications, physio- and occupational therapy, and management of spasticity and other MS complications (3400 Spruce Street, 800-789-PENN, pennhealth.com/neuro/services/ms.html).
The mission of the Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Center at Jefferson Hospital is to provide treatment and research to ease symptoms and look for answers that will point to a cure. Thomas Leist leads a team from the disciplines of rehabilitation, radiology, urology and mental health in developing individualized treatments (900 Walnut Street, suite 200, 800-JEFF-NOW, jeffersonhospital.org/neuroscience).