Multiple Sclerosis

A strong neuroscience program is about to get stronger—meet leaders and researchers at the forefront

Today, neuroscience at OHSU is poised for dramatic growth, driven by emerging areas of research strength in the fields of neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration and a planned investment of at least $100 million. Led by long-time campus leaders and new luminaries, the university is doubling down on its quest: contribute in a major way to understanding the mystery between our ears and, above all, improve brain health. Leadership On the faculty since 1982, Dennis Bourdette, M.D., F.A.A.N., chairs neurology in the … Read More

Eleven-year-old inspired by her mom to find a cure for multiple sclerosis

It has been important to me to raise money for the MS Walk for the past 8 years because my Mom, Carol, has been diagnosed for 21 years and I have only known her living with MS and its challenges. At the age of 3, I was able to join her at an MS conference in Boston and it was then that I saw how MS affects thousands of people in thousands of different ways. … Read More

Living and loving with multiple sclerosis

Carol Sarnowski, our guest blogger, patient and MS advocate, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 21 years ago. Here is her story. *** My MS diagnosis came as a complete surprise. I had finished nursing school and was at the prime of my life when the migraine headache I had been fighting for months to treat got more intense and I woke up completely numb on my left side one morning. I went to my long time family … Read More

Should MS drugs cost more than $40,000 a year?

I have been treating people with multiple sclerosis, or MS, for 30 years. While some people with MS have a very mild case — we call that “benign” MS — most do not.  Typically, people develop the illness as young adults and have to contend with the illness for decades. Untreated, over time, most people with MS become permanently disabled. Many lose the ability to walk, become too disabled to work, have thinking problems and … Read More

A Healthy Body Makes for a Healthy Brain

It’s 1960. “Eat your vegetables. Don’t you want to grow up strong and smart?” The boy’s mom dished out this unassailable logic at the dinner table along with the lima beans. What boy wouldn’t want to grow up “strong” and “smart?” And eating the dreaded lima beans surely must be good for you … why else would someone eat them?  But the boy became a young man and forgot his Mom’s dinner table wisdom. Fast … Read More

How scientists collaborate, and how that can lead to cures

Report from Milan, Italy, Feb. 8, 2013: I am sitting in an auditorium in Milan, Italy, with about 100 other neurologists and scientists. This is the second day that I have sat here. We have come from many countries — including Germany, France, Austria, England, Scotland, Canada, Australia, Italy and the United States — for the First Scientific Conference of the International Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Collaborative. This meeting illustrates how scientists from around the world … Read More

Prescription-itis: When are too many drugs too many?

I’m a neurologist and I specialize in working with people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Since I am not a surgeon, I am well trained in the use of medications to treat people. Because MS can cause many different symptoms, we often use medications to try to alleviate these symptoms. As a consequence, it’s not unusual for me to see people with MS who are taking a half dozen or more medications to treat various symptoms.  … Read More

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