Each week, an estimated 200 Americans are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). But new treatments bring new hope, according to neuro-immunologist Dr. Brian Wong. He is helping to launch a comprehensive multiple sclerosis program at Hartford HealthCare’s Ayer Neuroscience Institute.
Q: What is neuro-immunology?
A: Neuro-immunology is a subspecialty of neurology. It focuses on the immune system’s role in contributing to neurologic diseases. This includes relatively common conditions like multiple sclerosis, as well as less common conditions, such as neuromyelitis optica and neuro-sarcoidosis.
Q: Tell us about the program you are creating at Hartford HealthCare.
A: Our goal is to first properly diagnose patients with these conditions at our clinic in Southington. Once a diagnosis is made, we can provide an individualized treatment plan to minimize the effect that diseases like multiple sclerosis have on our patients’ lives.
Q: What type of treatments will be offered to patients?
A: There are currently 15 different medications approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. These medications help to prevent episodes of acute worsening, often called relapses, and consequently help minimize long term disability. We are seeing very positive outcomes with these treatments and therefore selecting an appropriate medication for each individual is important.
Q: What do you want patients to know about multiple sclerosis and this new program?
A: It is a very exciting time in the field of neurology. For patients with multiple sclerosis, we have treatments which were not available to us in years past. We are now able to achieve remarkable long term outcomes that simply were not possible before.
Learn more here about the multiple sclerosis services provided by the Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Institute.