Living with multiple sclerosis (MS) is a unique experience for each person, and we’re here to help. At the Tulane Multiple Sclerosis Center at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, we care for the whole person by offering comprehensive, personalized care to help people with MS manage their journey and recovery. We empower patients with education, hope and ways to treat symptoms so quality of life is improved.
Tulane Multiple Sclerosis Center
The Tulane Multiple Sclerosis Center provides meaningful, thorough care and guidance in various areas of health and wellness, such as exercise, nutrition, stress management and other MS-related issues. We strive to improve patients’ quality of life by addressing those items, caring for the whole patient and offering guidance for big-picture life challenges caused by MS.
Our center’s team includes neurologists who are MS-specialists, a dedicated nursing team and an administrative staff that is also trained to deliver the best care to patients living with MS. We provide easy access to other specialists that contribute to MS care, including:
- Physical therapy (PT)
- Meditation coaches
- Stress management
A patient advisory panel was created to help shape and guide the care approach at the Tulane MS Center. This patient advisory panel provides feedback and ideas to ensure the patient voice is always represented in our care.
Our mission statement:
At the Tulane Multiple Sclerosis Center, we recognize that multiple sclerosis affects more than the immune system, and we strive to deliver truly meaningful and comprehensive care.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a complicated autoimmune disease where the body mistakes part of the central nervous system as non-self and something to fight against. It can impact the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve by forming MS plaque or lesions. There are many forms of MS, with relapsing remitting MS being the most common.
The Tulane Multiple Sclerosis Center provides comprehensive care for people affected by any form of MS, including relapsing (relapsing-remitting MS or RRMS) and progressive forms (such as primary progressive MS (PPMS) and secondary progressive MS or SPMS). We also provide care to people with related syndromes, including clinically isolated syndromes (CIS) and radiologically isolated syndrome (RIS).
MS affects everyone differently, and the level of symptoms can vary, along with the length of time between episodes of experiencing symptoms. Some signs and symptoms of MS include:
- Blurry vision
- Tingling or numbness in legs or feet
- Leg weakness or stiffness
- Cognitive challenges
- Bladder and/or bowel symptoms
- Eye pain, usually in one eye, and/or less color seen by one eye
Multiple sclerosis is often characterized by rough patches or bad days, but those times are often surrounded by good days. Many MS symptoms come and go or improve over time. Usually, people fully recover from their early episodes of MS symptoms. Each person with MS has his or her own journey and experiences.
Diagnosis & Treatment
The average age of a person when they are diagnosed with MS is 28 years old. There is no blood test to confirm the MS diagnosis. A physician diagnoses MS using a neurologic and clinical exam, brain MRI and possibly a spinal tap, or lumbar puncture, to rule out infection.
The Tulane Multiple Sclerosis Center team cares for the whole patient, not just the immune system impacted by MS. Whole-person comprehensive care can include (as needed) vitamin D supplements, stress management, exercise planning, nutrition counseling and symptom management. Your care team will work with you through personalized, collaborative decision making to create a treatment plan that’s best for you. Treatment is ongoing and can be adjusted as your symptoms change.
There are many FDA-approved immunotherapies available to treat MS. Your doctor will talk with you to determine if one of these immunotherapies is right for you.
There is hope – and there are various treatment options available to assist you during your MS journey.
Newly Diagnosed with MS?
Local and national MS groups provide education for people recently diagnosed who are just beginning to learn about MS. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Multiple Sclerosis Association of America offer information for people with new MS diagnoses to help connect you to people and resources.
For a live, interactive experience where you can ask questions, join this National Multiple Sclerosis Society online meet up from the comfort and privacy of your home:
Join this MS meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: (872) 240-3212
Access Code: 683-045-605
Preparing for – and what to expect from – your first appointment
If you’ve already been diagnosed with MS, your first appointment at the Tulane MS Center will be a 90-minute visit where your clinical history and experiences will be reviewed, along with any imaging and lab results you already have. The goal of this visit is for the care team to learn about your life and provide you a road map to outline your comprehensive care plan. Sometimes this process takes more than one visit.
If you’ve not yet been diagnosed and are coming for an evaluation for possible MS diagnosis, the care team will review your symptoms and history with you, and perform or schedule any diagnostic testing as needed.
To prepare for your appointment, make a list of questions and concerns to show your doctor. Arrive 15 minutes early, not at the appointment time. Bring a support person if you can. And the most important tip is to relax! Take a deep breath. Coming to the center will be a benefit and shouldn’t bring added stress.
Living with multiple sclerosis
For people with MS, day-to-day life doesn’t look the same for everyone. Most people experience symptoms on some days, but not every day. Some symptoms worsen due to fatigue, fever, stress or sensitivity to heat and cold. MS relapses can happen where new neurologic symptoms develop, but they are usually followed by some degree of recovery. Most MS patients can improve, and we help them to do so. While living with MS, expect some challenging episodes where symptoms flare up and many good days where you can make the most of life.
Telemedicine options – coming soon
New patients visit the MS center in Tulane Medical Center for their first appointment. Certain components of care, such as nutrition consultations and lab result reviews, can be done outside of the clinic, after the initial appointment. We are planning ways to incorporate telemedicine so that patients from outside the greater New Orleans area can more easily be treated by our team for follow-up care. Telemedicine care could include internet-based visits and telephone or video consultations. As telemedicine options become available, we will offer them to existing patients, as appropriate.
Support Groups and Events – coming soon
Connecting with other people also experiencing MS can be a source of comfort, inspiration and help. We encourage you to participate in support groups, in person and/or online. As we build out our support group schedule and lecture series, we will invite patients and their families to join in. This website will be updated with event information.
More information, support and resources can be found through these organizations and websites. Education is one of the keys to wellness while living with MS.