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Multiple Sclerosis Specialist

Shankle Clinic

Neurology Specialists located in Newport Beach, CA

Nearly one million people in the United States suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS) along with the mobility and vision abnormalities it can bring. Though MS is incurable, the expert neurologists at Shankle Clinic recommend medications and therapy that help slow the progression of the disease and control its symptom flares. The clinic is under the direction of founder William Shankle, MS, MD, FACP, and is situated within the Hoag Neurosciences Institute in Newport Beach, California. To make an appointment for an MS evaluation or treatment, contact the helpful staff by phone or use the online booking form.

Multiple Sclerosis Q & A

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive nerve disease that’s most common in geographical areas that are farthest from the equator.

If you have MS, your immune system is abnormally overactive and attacks the healthy myelin sheaths that protect the nerves in your central nervous system (CNS).

As the myelin sheaths degenerate, you develop a range of nerve-related symptoms, including tingling sensations and vision problems, that progress with time. 

Who gets MS?

You can have MS no matter what race, age, or gender you are, but it’s most often diagnosed in white adults from 20-50 who have northern European ancestry. Women are more likely to have MS than men are.

What causes MS?

Researchers and doctors aren’t yet certain what causes MS. Some theories include:

  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Infections 
  • Genetics

Much of the research in MS focuses on understanding why the immune system attacks the nerves and finding ways to turn off that response while preserving normal immune function.

What are the symptoms of MS?

Multiple sclerosis symptoms can be nonspecific and subtle. In general, MS is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that if you’re negative for other conditions that cause the same kind of symptoms, you may have MS. 

Typical physical symptoms of MS are:

  • Numbness in face, trunk, or limbs
  • Tingling sensations
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Weakness in limbs
  • Trouble walking
  • Spastic muscles
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Vision problems
  • Urogenital problems 

If you have MS, you may also experience emotional or cognitive changes, including depression and difficulties with concentration and problem-solving. Your symptoms may come and go, and the type of symptoms you have can change over time.

How is MS diagnosed?

Doctors diagnose MS when they can’t diagnose another disease, but can identify at least two areas in the CNS that have been damaged at different times. When you’re evaluated for MS, you may undergo tests such as:

  • Physical examination
  • Personal and family medical history
  • Neurologic examination
  • Blood tests
  • Spinal tap

The sooner your disease is diagnosed, the sooner you can begin treatment that may slow its progression and help you manage symptoms.

How do neurologists treat MS?

Your neurologist recommends lifestyle changes to help manage your symptoms, strengthen your immune system, and improve your overall health. Injectable, oral, and infused medications can help control symptoms.

To receive an evaluation or treatment for MS, contact Shankle Clinic today by calling or using the online appointment form.