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Treatment Neurology & Neurosurgery

Multiple Sclerosis

Your neurology team at UCSF Medical Center, along with your primary care physician, will design a treatment plan tailored to your medical condition, state of health and individual needs. You may need more than one kind of treatment, or a treatment requiring several visits to the Multiple Sclerosis Center. Also, you may be referred to other doctors or health professionals.

Doctors and researchers have identified four categories of treatment for patients with MS:

  • Treatment that reduces the severity and duration of attacks
  • Treatment to cure or eliminate the biological activity of MS in the body
  • Treatment to relieve various symptoms such as incontinence, visual disturbances or fatigue
  • Treatment that repairs damage caused by MS

Treatments may involve some risks or complications, which will be fully explained to you by your neurologist.

Treatments may include one of many medications such as:

  • Beta interferon A family of drugs that help fight viral infection and regulate your immune system
  • Glatiramer acetate A drug that doctors believe works by blocking your immune system's attack on myelin
  • Immunosuppressive drugs Drugs to suppress or control the immune system

Other medications may be prescribed to treat or control symptoms such as depression, fatigue, pain, spasticity and tremors. Treatment programs and services may include exercise and physical therapy, occupational therapy to help maintain your independence in daily living, and stress reduction.

Many new treatments, such as the use of statins or cholesterol-lowering drugs, are being developed and tested. Patients who are evaluated at the Multiple Sclerosis Center have the opportunity to participate in these studies of new treatments.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

Recommended reading

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle with Multiple Sclerosis

Learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) including tips for exercise, stress reduction, nutrition, supplements and more.

Multiple Sclerosis Glossary

Use this Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Glossary to better understand some of the more esoteric terminology including, ataxia, gamma globulin, intrathecal and more.

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