Genesee County Clinic Now Available for MS and Central Nervous System Immune Disorders

MS diagnoses can be complicated, new Genesee County clinic aims to help

Author: Sherry Farney

While some health conditions, like high cholesterol or diabetes, are easy to determine, others can be challenging.

Some conditions that involve more in-depth testing and conversation with a specialist include multiple sclerosis (MS) and other central nervous system (CNS) immune disorders, such as neuromyelitis and Optica spectrum disorder. Unfortunately, MS can have very non-specific signs and symptoms. While it can take longer to determine the specific condition, it’s important to get the diagnosis right to implement the best treatment plan for each individual patient.

McLaren Flint now offers an MS and CNS immune disorder clinic led by Dr. Suleiman Kojan, FAAN, a board-certified neurologist. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke labels MS as the most common disabling disease of young adults ages 20 to 40.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic neurological condition affecting the central nervous system and involving the brain, spinal cord, and sometimes the optic nerves. It can either be relatively benign or entirely disabling. MS occurs when overactive immune cells attack and damage the myelin (fatty layer of insulation around the nerve fibers), making it difficult for nerve signals to travel properly across the nervous system.

CNS diseases include a range of disorders in which brain or spinal cord function is diminished or impaired, resulting in diminished motor, sensory, or cognitive performance. Epilepsy, neuralgia, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington's chorea, and Alzheimer's disease are CNS disorders.

The new McLaren MS and CNS clinic will bring much-needed services to patients throughout mid-Michigan.

“I enjoy doing research and have spent many years trying to help crack the MS code,” said Dr. Kojan. “I want to assist any patient who has MS or a CNS immune disorder to live their best life.”

Diagnosing MS cannot be done with one single test. For MS a definitive diagnosis must meet the following strict requirements:

· Neurological evidence of lesions in at least two distinct areas of the central nervous system. · Evidence that the lesions have occurred at different points in time. · Other diseases that mimic MS must be ruled out.

MS is even more complicated because no two cases are exactly alike. Each person will differ in their symptoms, how often and severe their relapses are, and their disease progression. As with many other chronic illnesses, early detection is key to minimizing the damage MS does to the body and keeping it at bay.

Along with medications, MS can be managed by remaining tobacco-free, eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, getting enough sleep, and staying active to stay strong.

“Fortunately, there are medications and key general health practices that can help manage the disease, said Dr. Kojan. “Despite all the mysteries we have yet to solve around MS, there are viable treatments for patients.”

If you need a diagnosis or second opinion for MS or a CNS immune disorder, visit