Overview of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
The Multiple Sclerosis Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Neurological Institute is a joint clinic funded through a grant by the Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation. The program provides Patients First care for individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune condition that causes damage to the central nervous system. The multidisciplinary team of caregivers offers expertise in a wide range of disciplines, including neurology, neuro-ophthalmology, rehabilitation medicine, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and urology.
The program offers FDA (United States Food & Drug Administration) approved disease modifying medications for multiple sclerosis patients, including intravenous medication that can be administered at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Infusion Center.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is also implementing a multiple sclerosis research program in order to improve the understanding of the disease and contribute to the development of new therapies.
What we treat
The Multiple Sclerosis Program provides multidisciplinary, comprehensive care, from diagnosis to treatment and long-term management of patients with multiple sclerosis.
The team also diagnoses and treats conditions related to multiple sclerosis, such as myelitis and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders. In this group of conditions, the optic nerves, spinal cord, and possibly the brain are attacked by the immune system, which can cause vision loss and partial paralysis.
Caregivers specifically focus on addressing the physical, emotional, and rehabilitation needs of patients and their families through a supportive, team-based approach.
Diagnosis & treatment of multiple sclerosis
Diagnosis of multiple sclerosis
Patient evaluation in the Multiple Sclerosis Program begins with a medical history and a neurological examination. The physician then orders any other necessary tests and procedures in order to make an accurate multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
Treatment of multiple sclerosis
Treatment for multiple sclerosis typically involves medication therapy and sometimes neuro-rehabilitation. Medication therapies can be divided into two main types:
- Disease modifying therapy: These medications are used to treat the disease itself. Depending on the patient’s specific diagnosis, caregivers offer the latest approved therapies to patients, which may be tablets, injections, or infusion (intravenous) medications. Some patients may be prescribed interferon injections (medications that mimic the natural interferons, special proteins made by the immune system, to combat inflammation) or steroid injections (for acute attacks of multiple sclerosis). Infusion therapies, which can slow down the development of multiple sclerosis and reduce the number of flare-ups, are delivered on an outpatient basis at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Infusion Center.
- Symptomatic therapy: These medications are used to manage symptoms of multiple sclerosis, including gait disorders, fatigue, pain, and spasticity (muscle stiffness). Various options, including botox injections, may be offered. Urological symptoms of multiple sclerosis are also treated, in coordination with urology specialists.
When patients have complex neuro-rehabilitation needs, they are seen by the neuro-rehabilitation consultant, who has a wealth of expertise in the rehabilitation and long-term care of patients with multiple sclerosis. Patients are then offered a tailored treatment plan through the Neurological Institute’s Neuro-rehabilitation Program .
Multiple Sclerosis Program caregivers
The caregivers in the Multiple Sclerosis Program work together closely to provide comprehensive, integrated treatment. The program also houses a research team dedicated to advancing the field of multiple sclerosis care. Caregivers involved in patient care and research for this program are:
- Multiple sclerosis physicians
- Multiple sclerosis nursing care coordinators
- Multiple sclerosis physician researchers