Expert care for multiple sclerosis
The Brigham Multiple Sclerosis Center is a renowned institution specializing in comprehensive care for multiple sclerosis patients, with advanced facilities and highly experienced medical personnel. Equipped with innovative technology and ongoing clinical research, the center is committed to providing the best level of care for patients with MS, as well as providing information and practice guidelines for healthcare professionals.
As one of the largest MS centers in the country, the center offers subspecialized programs to meet the individual needs of its patients, including programs focused on women's health and psychological health, providing multiple sclerosis treatment for all our patients. The center also offers the latest imaging technology, including an MRI and infusion suite, in a comfortable and modern facility.
What is multiple sclerosis (MS)? What are the symptoms of MS and what causes it? Kristin M. Galetta, MD, Neurologist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Michael Levy, MD, PhD, Neurologist, Massachusetts General Hospital, discuss testing and treatment for MS and the best ways to manage symptoms and prevent future inflammatory relapses.
Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a disease that affects the brain and central nervous system. It causes the immune system to attack the myelin layer of nerve fibers, disrupting the signals between the brain and body. This damage to nerves in different body parts can cause symptoms in those areas. The cause of MS is unknown.
Living with multiple sclerosis is unique to everyone, but many individuals require ongoing medication and various therapies to manage symptoms and reduce their impact on daily life. Mobility loss is common over time, and some may need canes or walkers. Depression rates are high among those with MS, and seeking support groups or counseling to address psychological and emotional difficulties can be beneficial as part of treatment plans.
Women develop MS at higher rates than men. The Women’s Health Clinic at the Brigham Multiple Sclerosis Center is focused on issues unique to female patients with multiple sclerosis and MS symptoms in women.
MS in children is possible, and our staff specializes in treating pediatric multiple sclerosis. The Mass General Brigham Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis helps children with MS and similar disorders. We have doctors specializing in caring for kids and teens with these conditions. Learn more about our pediatric MS providers.
Our Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) program is designed with the patient in mind. Our scanning center is located on the second lower level (L2) of the Hale Building for Transformative Medicine (60 Fenwood Road) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. This location makes it easy for patients to get their scans done in the same building as the MS Center and infusion suite. The MRI center has very advanced equipment that obtains important images of the inside of the body for routine disease tracking and looking for signs of disease progression. The 7T MRI is a special machine that takes very high-quality images and is used for research that improves and advances patient care.
Multiple sclerosis treatments focus on managing symptoms, reducing attack duration, and slowing disease progression. Medications are the primary option, but physical and other therapies can help. Surgery is rarely used. Treatment is lifelong.
MS treatments include medications to manage symptoms like fatigue, pain, tremors, and spasticity. Some medications can also modify the disease course and help with relapses. Surgery is less common but can be used in cases where medication therapy is not effective. Some surgical procedures may help in medication-resistant therapy.
The latest in MS drug infusions are conveniently delivered on the ground floor of the Hale Building for Transformative Medicine in an 18-chair facility. Our state-of-the-art infusion suite is managed by our experienced Brigham and Women’s nurses, providing individualized care and support. The environment is bright and cheerful, making it a welcoming place to receive treatment.
Infusions are available Monday-Friday from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm and Saturdays from 7 am to 3:30 pm. Valet parking is available. Appointments may be scheduled or adjusted at 617-732-9983.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital provides a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, collaborating with colleagues in other medical specialties. If your neurologist or neurosurgeon discovers an underlying illness or concern, you will be referred to an appropriate Brigham and Women’s Hospital physician or allied health professional for an expert evaluation.
The Multiple Sclerosis Center brings together physicians, clinical fellows, social workers, researchers, and other specialized MS medical staff to provide best-in-class care.
Our Neurology Team:
Our dedicated physicians, nurses, and staff are committed to providing the best possible care. We have taken unprecedented steps to ensure that office visits, procedures and surgeries are welcoming and safe. Your health and safety are our top priority.
Viral illnesses can temporarily worsen MS symptoms, but there is no evidence that COVID-19 triggers an attack that causes new nervous system damage in MS patients. Those with MS should follow the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and exercise standard precautions to minimize infection risk. People with MS on immune-modifying or immune-suppressive medications should adhere to the same precautions but seek medical attention more readily for fever or cough. Continuing disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) unless advised otherwise by a healthcare provider. Learn more about MS and COVID-19
The CDC is following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), which causes a respiratory disease. This is an evolving situation, and questions regarding using disease-modifying therapies during this outbreak are being raised.
The National MS Society’s National Medical Advisory Committee recommends the following:
Mass General Brigham is a global leader in translational and basic research studying the causes and cures for MS. From bench to bedside, we aim to revolutionize the treatment and prevention of brain disorders by bringing scientific and medical disciplines together.
For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.