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Your Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Questions Answered

LVHN neurologist Dmitry Khaitov, MD, provides facts and dispels myths about MS

LVHN neurologist Dmitry Khaitov, MD

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system disease that disrupts the flow of information within the brain and from the brain to the rest of the body. About 1 million people in the U.S. have MS, which destroys myelin, the protective layer around nerve fibers. The resulting interruption of the normal flow of brain signals causes a variety of symptoms, including weakness, vision problems, fatigue and more.

We asked neurologist Dmitry Khaitov, MD, with LVH Neurology–1250 Cedar Crest and LVPG Neurology–Muhlenberg, to help with five questions about MS and MS treatment.

Q: Does everyone who develops MS experience the same symptoms and when do most people develop the condition?

A: Symptoms vary in severity and correspond to the part of the nervous system which was affected.  Symptoms can include cognitive changes or bladder weakness. Women are affected more frequently, but after age 50 the chances of being diagnosed with MS are equal between men and women.

Q: If I’m diagnosed with MS, will I eventually have to use a wheelchair?

A: Absolutely not. In fact, the earlier and more aggressive the treatment, the higher the chance we can prevent a person with MS from getting severe symptoms or disabilities. There are many effective treatment options which are getting more and more potent against MS.

Q: How can I manage my MS?

A: There is no cure for MS, but we have over 30 available treatments for multiple sclerosis, including generic versions, which can alter the course of the disease. We also have multiple options to treat MS symptoms including pain, fatigue and bladder issues.

Q: What about having children? Does MS affect fertility?

A: In general, MS doesn’t affect fertility. However, some treatments may need to be stopped before and during pregnancy. It’s an important topic to discuss with your neurologist. MS is not a genetic disease, but there is an increased risk for MS if you have an immediate family member diagnosed with the condition.

Q: What kind of support does LVHN offer for patients with MS?

A: LVHN is the region’s only hospital designated as a Center for Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Care by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. We offer the full array of medical, psychosocial and rehabilitation services for managing MS throughout your life. We also participate in research and clinical trials to provide you with the latest and most effective treatments.

Treatment of MS and demyelinating disorders

The multiple sclerosis (MS) program at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) is one of the leading MS programs in Pennsylvania.

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