At the Multiple Sclerosis Center, we have a personal approach, spending time listening to you, making sure your questions are answered and developing a plan of care with you.

The Ohio State Multiple Sclerosis Clinic treats more than 4,000 patients. Our physician-scientists have gained national recognition in improving treatment options for patients with multiple sclerosis. People from around the world seek treatment from our fellowship-trained MS specialists and a supporting team of professionals dedicated solely to the management of MS.

Our Multiple Sclerosis Center’s unique features include:

  • MS Spasticity Center for administering and monitoring treatments for severe and disabling stiffness (spasticity) in the limbs
  • An in-house infusion suite for intravenous therapies
  • On-site, advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment to identify abnormalities in areas of the brain and spinal cord associated with MS
  • One of the country’s few 7 Tesla MRI scanners designed for neurological clinical studies
  • Innovative equipment to monitor disease progression through the retina of the eye

Our world-class research program offers you access to the latest medications and advances in MS management years before they come to market.

Tips to help newly diagnosed and millennials with MS


Some studies suggest that stress is associated with exacerbations of MS. Stress levels can be lowered by meditation, yoga, or exercise. I recommend that individuals with MS devote part of every day to stress reduction measures.

Weight management

There is increasing evidence that lifestyle habits that promote general health and wellbeing are also beneficial to the clinical course of multiple sclerosis. Maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI), via portion control and regular exercise, is part of that formula. Recent research studies indicate that increased childhood BMI is a risk factor for the development of MS as an adult. Therefore it is advisable that children of parents with MS maintain a healthy weight.

Temperature regulation

It is well known that increases in core body temperature can temporarily worsen chronic MS symptoms, and even unmask latent symptoms from a prior attack. In the medical literature this is referred to as Uhthoff’s phenomenon. Uhthoff’s phenomenon can occur as a result of physical exertion on a hot day, or taking a warm bath. Once a person with MS cools down, her or his symptoms should return to baseline. To prevent Uhthoff’s phenomenon, it is advisable to take it easy on hot days, use air conditioners, cooling vests and collars when indicated, and avoid taking long hot baths or showers.


Fatigue is the most common symptom of MS. Certain sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, are more common in individuals with MS than the general population, and can contribute to fatigue and sleepiness. If someone with MS is suffering from fatigue, it may be important to rule out those conditions, since they are treatable. However, fatigue can occurs in MS independent of sleep disorders. Medications, such as modafinil, may help. Cognitive rehabilitation therapy, including energy conservation techniques, can also make a difference.

Getting pregnant

If a woman with MS decides to attempt pregnancy, she should discuss when to discontinue disease modifying therapy prior to stopping birth control measures with her neurologist. A “wash out” period is generally advisable, the length of which varies depending on the medication one is taking. The incidence of MS attacks actually decreases during the third trimester of pregnancy. Relapse rates can rebound in the first 3-6 months following delivery, and this should be factored into the decision of when to restart disease modifying therapy. Women should not take disease modifying therapy while breast feeding.

Why choose Ohio State for treatment of multiple sclerosis?

All-inclusive: All of the resources you need for MS diagnosis, management and treatment are in one location, Ohio State’s Multiple Sclerosis Center.

Cutting-Edge: MS researchers at the Ohio State Multiple Sclerosis Center, conducting both laboratory and clinical research, are keeping pace with and often leading efforts to advance care for MS.

Multidisciplinary: Ohio State has an entire team of MS doctors dedicated to diagnosing and managing MS, all within our Multiple Sclerosis Center:

  • Five neurologists with fellowship training in MS
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Infusion (IV) nurses
  • Social worker
  • Urologist
  • Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Physical therapists

Experienced, Personalized: You will benefit from the time and personal attention you receive from our MS team, as well as the experience we have acquired as Ohio’s first MS Center. The Ohio State Multiple Sclerosis Center has been recognized by the National MS Society as a Center for Comprehensive MS Care, and provides both state-of-the-art clinical care and clinical trials of novel treatments.

Infusion Center: If you require intravenous therapies or are participating in clinical trials with intravenous therapy, we have our own Infusion Center right in the MS Center. Our infusion nurses provide supportive care as you receive treatment in a comfortable atmosphere.

Spasticity Center: We also have an MS Spasticity Center, within the MS Center, where we administer and monitor treatments for severe and disabling stiffness (spasticity) in the limbs, a common symptom of MS.

Advanced Imaging Tools: To aid in diagnosing your condition, Ohio State has advanced imaging tools, including a 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine for superior images of patients’ brains and spinal cords. We also have one of the country’s few 7 Tesla MRI scanners designed for neurological clinical studies.

Flexible Scheduling: We are happy to work with your referring physician on a plan for ongoing care if routine visits to Ohio State are not practical. Our patients who travel a significant distance sometimes choose to come to the center for periodic checkups and adjustments of their treatment plan. We do whatever is best for you.

Scarlet and Gray MS Community: The Ohio State Multiple Sclerosis Center is dedicated to the MS community. We offer educational events for people living with MS, their loved ones and experts to connect in a safe and secure environment. 

Learn more about Scarlet and Gray MS Community News and Events

Learn more about brain and spine neurological conditions at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a nervous system disease that affects your brain and spinal cord. It damages the myelin sheath, the material that surrounds and protects your nerve cells. This damage slows down or blocks messages between your brain and your body, leading to the symptoms of MS. They can include:

  • Visual problems
  • Spasticity (painful and disabling stiffness)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Trouble with coordination and balance
  • Sensations such as numbness, prickling or "pins and needles"
  • Thinking and memory problems
  • Fatigue

No one knows what causes MS. It may be an autoimmune disease, which happens when your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake. Multiple sclerosis affects women more than men. It often begins between the ages of 20 and 40. Usually, the disease is mild, but some people lose the ability to write, speak or walk.

Source: NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

There are four main types of multiple sclerosis:

There are four main types of multiple sclerosis:

Diagnosing multiple sclerosis

Because a number of conditions have symptoms similar to MS, an accurate diagnosis is critical in creating an effective care plan. Ohio State’s MS physicians spend a lot of time examining you and talking with you about your symptoms. They take you through a walking test and a hand coordination test to assess function in your limbs.

In addition, our neurologists offer you diagnostic tests, all available within our Multiple Sclerosis Center:

  • Lab tests, such as blood and urine tests, to check for vitamin deficiencies, infections and autoimmune markers
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect lesions on the spinal cord or in brain tissue. Ohio State houses one of only a few 3 Tesla MRI scanners in the state. This high-powered machine produces clearer, more precise images to aid in accurate diagnosis
  • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to check spinal fluid for further evidence of MS
  • Evoked potential test to measure the speed at which the brain tracks electrical signals in response to various stimuli to legs and arms
  • Optical coherence tomography to monitor progression of MS through the eye. Ohio State recently acquired this new imaging tool that allows physicians to look for thinning of the retina (the lining at the back of the eye), which has been associated with progressing MS

Our multidisciplinary approach for multiple sclerosis

Our Multiple Sclerosis Center serves our Neurological Institute, which brings together physicians, scientists, nurses and therapists to develop new technologies and better treatments for people with complex neurological conditions

Ohio State has an entire team of professionals dedicated to diagnosing and managing MS, all within our Multiple Sclerosis Center:

  • Five neurologists with fellowship training in MS
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Infusion (IV) nurses
  • Social worker
  • Urologist
  • Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Physical therapists


Ohio State supports one of the largest, most active clinical trials programs for multiple sclerosis in the nation and has made consistent, meaningful contributions to MS research over the past 30 years. Researchers at Ohio State’s Multiple Sclerosis Center, conducting both laboratory and clinical research, are keeping pace with — and often leading — efforts  to advance care for MS. Clinical trials at Ohio State offer you access to the most current diagnosis, treatment and symptom management breakthroughs, sometimes years before they are commercially available.

Enroll in a clinical trial

The clinical trials at Ohio State focus on four main approaches to battling the disease:

Additional Information

To help us make the most of your visit, please send in advance the following information for our review:

  • All records from neurologists or referring physicians
  • MRI results on a CD
  • Reports of lab results and spinal studies

Preparing for your visit

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