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Multiple Sclerosis

Discovering you have multiple sclerosis and learning to manage it can be challenging. Our team is here to help. Our goal is to guide you through diagnosis to treatment strategies that help you lead the fullest life possible. The University of Kansas Medical Center in collaboration with The University of Kansas Health System has been designated a Center for Comprehensive Care by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society since 2011. This designation highlights the multidisciplinary approach our team uses to provide exceptional care and address the needs of those living with multiple sclerosis.

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, unpredictable and wide-ranging disease that affects the central nervous system, disrupting the flow of information from the brain to the spinal cord. This can result in a variety of symptoms, such as pain, fatigue and numbness.

MS is more common in women than in men. The disease most often occurs in people ages 20-40; however, it can affect people of any age.

We offer a variety of appointment types. Learn more or call 913-588-1227 to schedule now.

Multiple sclerosis symptoms and risks

The severity and duration of MS symptoms can vary. Some people may be free of symptoms most of their lives, while others may experience severe, chronic symptoms. Some people diagnosed with MS may experience fairly minor complications, while others notice life-altering effects over the lifetime of the disease.

Some common early symptoms include:

  • Abnormal sensations, such as numbness or prickling
  • Difficulty walking
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of vision due to inflammation of the optic nerve
  • Pain
  • Vertigo

As the disease progresses, patients with MS may experience muscle weakness, poor coordination, muscle stiffness or spasms, dizziness or bowel and bladder issues. About ½ of all MS patients will also experience memory, concentration and attention difficulties.

Multiple sclerosis diagnosis and screening

There is no definitive test to positively diagnose MS. Instead, doctors will conduct tests and evaluations to rule out other diseases. These typically include:

  • A complete review of medical history
  • A full neurological examination to assess mental, emotional and language functions as well as movement and coordination, vision, balance and sense function
  • Blood tests to rule out other causes
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Spinal tap or lumbar puncture to analyze the fluid around the spinal column

In partnership with the University of Kansas Medical Center, we offer a Multiple Sclerosis Achievement Center, 1 of only 6 of its kind in the nation. The center is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for those with advanced MS. The center provides a community-based program offering physical rehabilitation, psychological support, health education and social activities.

Multiple Sclerosis Achievement Center

MS Achievement Center

Our Multiple Sclerosis Achievement Center is 1 of just 6 of its kind in the nation. The center is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for those with advanced MS. The program provides physical rehabilitation, psychological support, health education and social activities.

About the center

Multiple sclerosis treatment

There is no cure for MS, and the cause is unknown. However, there are treatments that can help control symptoms, slow the progression of the disease or alter the path of the disease to improve function and mobility.

Your MS care team will work with you to develop a treatment plan based on your overall health and medical history as well as your age, the extent of the disease and your tolerance for medicines and therapies. Your symptoms can be treated through the following methods:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medication
  • Rehabilitation
Comprehensive Care Center
We are a designated Comprehensive Care Center by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Leading researchers
Our providers are also leading researchers. They care for patients today and drive research to develop new treatments.
MS Achievement Center
The center provides therapeutic services for individuals with progressive MS.

Your multiple sclerosis care team

The University of Kansas Health System has fellowship-trained doctors, clinical pharmacists and specialty-focused nurses on site. Our specialists form an interdisciplinary team to help people with MS live with the disease. Depending on your unique needs, this may include:

Together, we can help you navigate the complex nature of MS.

Doctors and nurses collaborating

Leading research and clinical trials

As part of one of the nation's premier academic medical centers, our care providers are committed to research and scientific discovery through the University of Kansas Medical Center. We can often include our patients in potentially lifesaving clinical trials and treatment options not available anywhere else.

Our Research