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Darin Okuda, M.D. Answers Questions On Multiple Sclerosis

Darin Okuda, M.D. Answers Questions On: Multiple Sclerosis

If a person is experiencing symptoms suggestive of multiple sclerosis, how will he or she know?

Multiple sclerosis is a complex disorder of the optic nerve, brain, and spinal cord. The disease occurs as a result of a dysfunctional immune system, in which an attack on myelin, nerve fibers, and nerve cells within the central nervous system occurs following exposure to an environmental trigger in genetically susceptible individuals.

A variety of symptoms may result from this injury, including visual difficulties, weakness, numbness, pain, fatigue, alterations in bladder function, and deficiencies in cognition.

As the symptoms for multiple sclerosis overlap with many other diseases, guidance from a health care team is recommended.

It is also important to highlight that multiple sclerosis features may be recognized even prior to the development of a first neurological symptom. In some cases, healthy individuals may have features highly suggestive of multiple sclerosis that are found accidently following a brain or spinal cord magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study. The initial study is typically performed as part of a medical evaluation for symptoms or health concerns unrelated to multiple sclerosis. These individuals do not exhibit signs or have a history of prior neurological complaints related to multiple sclerosis.

Why should a patient consider seeing someone who specializes in the treatment of multiple sclerosis?

Specialists in multiple sclerosis have distinct expertise and focus in caring for those with this unique condition. Our principle role is to provide up-to-date education on the disease process as well as knowledge regarding available and emerging treatments based on current scientific data, provide multidisciplinary specialized care and access to available resources, and to formulate a unique short-, mid-, and long-term therapeutic strategy that is designed on an individual basis.

What new treatments or research are being conducted for multiple sclerosis?

Our team specializes in improving upon the current diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis through the development of new imaging techniques for better disease characterization and surveillance. We are also known for our novel scientific studies aimed at the earlier identification and treatment of individuals with demyelinating disease (even prior to the development of a first neurological symptom), along with technological innovations aimed at nonpharmacologic symptom management and remote patient monitoring.