Welcome to the Rocky Mountain MS Center’s Patient Resources. The pages collected here are educational resources for patients, family members, caregivers and anyone else interested in MS care.

The Rocky Mountain MS Center and our partners at the Rocky Mountain MS Center at University of Colorado advocate for a fundamental philosophy of maximizing lifelong brain health through early and effective treatment and adoption of a healthy lifestyle.

Our understanding and ability to treat multiple sclerosis has evolved dramatically over the past 30 years. Prior to 1993, there were no approved therapies for MS. Today there are more than 20 approved disease modifying therapies (DMTs) to treat MS and the development of drugs is rapid and ongoing.

In that time we’ve also learned that the brain’s own ability to protect itself over time is a critical factor in slowing and even stopping the progress of MS.

This leads to our comprehensive approach to treating and living with MS, which you’ll see take shape in the resources collected here.

Treating MS

Treating multiple sclerosis requires a comprehensive care approach that maximizes and enhances the brain’s ability to protect and repair itself and to promote quality of life for patients and their families. It is also an ongoing process, beginning with the very first symptoms and continuing throughout the disease course. It’s never too soon or too late to think about how to access and best utilize quality care. Knowing what to look for, where to find it, and how to work effectively with your doctor and other health professionals is a vital part of managing MS.

Medications

The MS Center is focused on early, highly effective treatment of multiple sclerosis. The strategy starts with identifying MS as early as possible – in many cases, even before significant symptoms are apparent. Patients are treated with the latest and most effective MS drugs at the very earliest signs of MS, in an effort to slow or even stop the disease before it has the opportunity to do much lasting damage.

Why Should I be on a DMT?

Symptoms

The symptoms of MS depend on which areas of the brain and spinal cord develop MS lesions. For example, if the nerve that is involved in vision (the optic nerve) develops a lesion, blurring of vision occurs. This is referred to as optic neuritis. If a lesion develops in the part of the brain that produces movement on the left side of the body, left-sided weakness develops. In addition to visual blurring and weakness, other common MS symptoms include fatigue, depression, urinary difficulties, walking unsteadiness, stiffness in the arms or legs, tingling, and numbness.

Living with MS

After a multiple sclerosis diagnosis, it is common to experience many unique emotions.  People often report feeling irritable, tearful, anxious, or distracted.  They may describe themselves as depressed as a result of the diagnosis and unable to tolerate the idea of an uncertain future.  These experiences are very normal. After any surprising, traumatic event, we are expected to take some time to adjust and come to grips with our feelings.  Well-meaning friends and family members will sometimes  encourage newly diagnosed people to “put mind over matter”, to “be strong”, to “not think about the MS”, or to “get over” their fears.

Complementary Care

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a controversial area. In fact, even the term and its definition are not entirely agreed upon. Besides complementary and alternative medicine, other frequently used terms are unconventional medicine and integrative medicine. The term complementary medicine refers to therapies that are used in addition to conventional medicine, while the term alternative medicine is used to describe treatment that is used instead of conventional medicine.

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