Multiple Sclerosis

THIS INFORMATION IS USEFUL FOR ADULTS AND OLDER ADULTS
Why Yale Medicine?
  • Patients are treated by world-leading MS researchers, who have dedicated their careers to finding the causes and effective treatments for the disease.
  • Our doctor translate groundbreaking science into specialized, targeted treatments that directly benefit patients.
  • Treatment plans vary, based on the individual needs of each patient.

While multiple sclerosis (MS) affects 350,000 Americans—the disease actually comes in many different forms. No two cases of MS, a disease that affects the central nervous system, are the same since nerves are affected in different ways and show a variety of symptoms.

Contrary to some popular perception, MS is not always an unrelenting downward spiral. Indeed the disease has an unpredictable progression (some patients will gradually lose the ability to walk, while other patients will have flare-ups of the disease followed by periods of remission).

For years, its root causes were completely unknown. But researchers – including Dr. David Hafler, chair of the Department of Neurology at Yale School of Medicine—have begun to identify the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development and progression of MS. Their groundbreaking discoveries help patients to manage the condition and live full and healthy lives never before thought possible.

In patients with multiple sclerosis, the white blood cells of the body, usually responsible for fighting disease, begin to attack the protective coating, or myelin sheath, around the nerves. Ultimately the nerves begin to break down until the brain and spinal cord are no longer able to effectively communicate with the body.

Clinical Trials

New treatments for many conditions are tested in clinical trials, which ultimately bring lifesaving new drugs and devices to the patients who need them most. By participating in a clinical trial, you may get access to the most advanced treatments for your condition, and help determine their benefits for future patients.