Multiple Sclerosis Specialist

Bharat Tolia, MD -  - Neurologist

Comprehensive Neurology

Bharat Tolia, MD

Neurologist located in Pontiac, MI

Properly diagnosing and treating multiple sclerosis is the best way to manage its symptoms and progression. Bharat Tolia, MD, provides care for neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis at Comprehensive Neurology Headache and Sleep Center in Pontiac, Michigan. If you have a multiple sclerosis diagnosis or are looking for an experienced neurologist, call or schedule an appointment online today.

Multiple Sclerosis Q & A

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord. These nerves are insulated and protected by a myelin sheath.

When you have MS, your immune system malfunctions and attacks the myelin covering. The resulting demyelination causes the nerves to become damaged and leads to communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. The exact cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown.

What are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

The symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary depending on the person and the progression of the disease.

Common symptoms include:

  • Paralysis
  • Weakness, numbness, or tingling in the limbs
  • Tremors
  • Slurred speech
  • Double vision or other vision problems
  • Incontinence

It is also common to experience muscle coordination issues and spasms.

Who is at risk of developing multiple sclerosis?

While the exact cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown, it may be triggered by genes in combination with environmental factors. Women are twice as likely as men to develop MS.

In addition to genetics and gender, risk factors associated with multiple sclerosis include:

  • Being age 15-60
  • Being caucasian
  • Living in temperate climates
  • Having certain infections, such as Epstein-Barr

Autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and thyroid disease can also increase your risk of developing MS.

How is multiple sclerosis diagnosed and treated?

There isn’t a single test to diagnose multiple sclerosis.

To make a diagnosis, Dr. Tolia performs a full medical evaluation that includes tests to evaluate physical, emotional, and mental aspects of your health. He might also recommend:

  • Blood tests: to rule out other medical conditions
  • Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction tests: to measure your muscle’s response to nerve stimulation
  • Spinal tap (lumbar puncture): to look for antibody abnormalities seen with MS
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): to check the spine and brain for evidence of MS

There is no cure for multiple sclerosis, but effective treatments exist to manage symptoms and the progression of the disease. A few of these medications include oral or IV corticosteroids, plasma exchange (plasmapheresis), and muscle relaxants.

Treatment of MS is individualized for each patient’s needs, and often includes physical therapy and wellness recommendations to improve diet, sleep quality, and exercise.

To learn more about multiple sclerosis treatments, call or schedule an appointment with Dr. Tolia online today.