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Overview of Treatment and Symptom Management for Multiple Sclerosis

Though there is not a cure for Multiple Sclerosis, there are many treatments available that help to treat the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. These treatments help to decrease the number of relapses (or attacks) and provide relief from the symptoms (attacks) that a person with Multiple Sclerosis has.  Some treatments can also reduce the number of lesions (which cause the symptoms and attacks) and can help delay the progression of the disease. Treatment options include various medications, plasmapheresis (plasma exchange), deep brain stimulation, physical and occupational therapy, lifestyle changes (such as diet and exercise), and complementary and alternative therapies (acupuncture, massage, chiropractic therapy, vitamins and herbal supplements).

Researchers are constantly testing new treatments for Multiple Sclerosis and a doctor may suggest that a patient with Multiple Sclerosis enroll in a clinical trial. Clinical trials allow patients with a specific medical condition (like Multiple Sclerosis) to participate in research studies. During these studies, patients test the new treatment the researchers have developed.  Please be advised that not all health insurance plans cover the cost of participating in a clinical trial.

Additional resources that provide an overview of the different treatment and symptoms management options for Multiple Sclerosis:

Treatments (National Multiple Sclerosis Society)

Multiple Sclerosis – Lifestyle Changes (University of Maryland Medical Center)

Multiple Sclerosis – Treatment (University of Maryland Medical Center)

Multiple Sclerosis – Treatment (FamilyDoctor.org)

Multiple Sclerosis: Hope Through Research – Can MS be Treated? (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)

Additional resources that provide information on complications for Multiple Sclerosis:

Managing When You Have MS and Something Else (National Multiple Sclerosis Society)

Multiple Sclerosis: Complications (Mayo Clinic)

Multiple Sclerosis and Pain

Please click on the links in the blue “Complications and Health Aspects” box on the right side of the page to read more about the different complications.

Complications (Penn Medicine)

Additional resources that provide more information on clinical trials:

What is a clinical trial? (ClinicalTrials.gov)

NIH Clinical Trials and You: the Basics (National Institutes of Health)

Clinical Trials of Medical Treatments: Why Volunteer? (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

Medicare and Clinical Research Studies (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

Should I Enter a Clinical Trial? A Patient Reference Guide for Adults with a Serious or Life-Threatening Illness (Emergency Care Research Institute, American Association of Health Plans)

States that Require Health Plans to Cover Patient Care Costs in Clinical Trials (National Cancer Institute)