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A Closer Look at Multiple Sclerosis

March 24, 2023

It’s estimated that close to a million people in the United State are living with multiple sclerosis (MS). It’s unclear what causes the neurological disease, which causes the immune system to attack the body’s central nervous system.

“The signs of MS can vary from person to person,” says Brian Wong, MD, a neurologist with Hartford HealthCare’s Ayer Neuroscience Institute in Southington. “Some people have prominent symptoms that are noticeable, while others have the disease and you would never know.”

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What are the symptoms of MS?

Damage to the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves from MS can cause varied symptoms, such as:

  • Numbness and tingling
  • Fatigue
  • Vision issues
  • Muscle spasm and weakness
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Mobility issues

Who can be diagnosed with MS?

Multiple sclerosis can occur at any age, but is usually diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40.

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What is it like living with MS?

Jennifer Ganley, one of Dr. Wong’s patients, says she’s struggled with extreme fatigue and migraines after her diagnosis in 2012.

“When the fatigue impacts me because of the MS it’s just really hard to continue on with my day,” Ganley explains. “The migraines are triggered by stimulation overload.”

How is MS treated?

Various types of medications can be used to help minimize MS symptoms. Ganley says Dr. Wong’s ability to listen, thorough treatment and attention to detail has helped her manage her fatigue and migraines – allowing her to dedicate more time and energy to her family.

“It’s really great to confidently say that working with Dr. Wong and his team have given me a better quality of life,” says Ganley.

Dr. Wong adds that treatment of MS goes beyond medication. “We try our best to provide comprehensive treatment for our patients,” explains Wong. “With support from our specialists in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, urology, rehab medicine and more, we are able to treat the symptoms that impact patients’ quality of life.”