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Neurology. 2004 Dec 14;63(11 Suppl 5):S12-8.

A multimodal approach to managing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

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  • 1Georgetown University Multiple Sclerosis Center, Georgetown University Hospital, 3800 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the CNS with a challenging clinical course characterized by heterogeneous symptoms related to inflammation and demyelination. Disease-modifying agents (DMAs) are used to treat the related neuronal degradation. Certain symptoms occur regularly, although with variable frequency, regardless of treatment with DMAs. Because there is no cure for MS at this time, symptom management is critically important to quality of life. Symptoms commonly seen are spasticity, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, bladder dysfunction, pain, and cognitive dysfunction. Other symptoms include depression, bowel dysfunction, paroxysmal symptoms, and weakness. The symptom management model that provides optimal results for patients with MS is a multimodal approach using effective communication, patient education, physical modalities and activities, occupational and other therapies, and pharmacologic interventions. Individualizing treatment for each patient involves gaining control of symptoms as early as possible to prevent cycles of symptoms from developing.

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