Lenox Hill Multiple Sclerosis Center

Lenox Hill Multiple Sclerosis Center

(212) 434-6400

130 E. 77th Street, 8 Black Hall
New York, New York 10075

Overview

At the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Lenox Hill Hospital, our team of multidisciplinary clinical staff focuses on improving quality of life for patients with multiple sclerosis by providing cutting-edge diagnostic and therapeutic services. With functional ability and independence as the primary goals of treatment, our patients are provided with access to:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Urology
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Psychological counseling
  • Vocational therapy
  • Speech and language pathology
  • Psychiatry
  • Neurophysiology
  • Biofeedback
  • Outpatient Infusion Center

Our experienced staff is available to assist you in different phases of MS treatment and also provide education and support. 

Get evaluated

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is caused by damage to the myelin sheath, the protective covering that surrounds nerve cells. When this nerve covering is damaged, nerve impulses are slowed down or stopped. MS is a progressive disease, meaning that the nerve damage, or neurodegeneration, gets worse over time. How quickly multiple sclerosis worsens varies from person to person. However, early and effective treatment can often slow down or even prevent worsening of the disease and greatly improve quality of life.

As a new patient at the Multiple Sclerosis Center, you will be evaluated to determine the most effective approach to treatment. Based on an interdisciplinary model of individualized care, the Multiple Sclerosis Center offers comprehensive neurologic care, while focusing on providing a combination of symptomatic therapies and the latest in disease modifying treatments.

A total of fifteen different FDA-approved injectable, oral, and infusion medications are available for the treatment of MS, each working in different ways. While all of these treatments aim to prevent relapses, disability, and new MRI lesions, it can seem a daunting task to choose the right medication for you.  Our physicians specialize in helping you create a tailored regimen depending on your needs and preferences.   While MS medications work to prevent relapses, if a relapse were to occur, corticosteroids such as methylprednisolone and prednisone may also be used to hasten neurological recovery.

If you would like to learn more regarding the different MS therapies, more information is available at http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Treating-MS/Medications.

In addition to providing medications to fight MS directly, it is of paramount importance to alleviate any accompanying symptoms of MS, which may include bladder and bowel dysfunction, depression, pain, fatigue, sexual problems, stiffness, and infection, among others. Our multidisciplinary team of specialists will address each and every one of these issues and offer the latest and most effective treatments.

Causes & Symptoms

Multiple Sclerosis Causes

The exact cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown. Some possible causes of MS include the following:

  • Autoimmune – MS is thought to be an autoimmune condition, in which the immune system mistakenly attacks myelin in the central nervous system
  • Environmental factors – factors relating to the impact of environment
  • Genetic factors – factors relating to the impact of genetics
  • Viruses – While certain common viruses have been suggested to contribute to development of MS, there is no conclusive evidence that this is the case. 

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis are variable amongst individuals and may be mild or severe. It is common to have an attack (relapse) followed by a period of recovery (remission). Other times, symptoms are progressive and may appear in various combinations, depending on the area of the nervous system affected.

Common Initial symptoms of multiple sclerosis may include:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Loss of color vision
  • Pain and loss of vision due to optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve)
  • Difficulty walking
  • Paresthesia (abnormal sensation or pain, such as numbness, prickling, or "pins and needles")

Other symptoms of multiple sclerosis may include any or all of the following:

  • Muscle weakness in the extremities
  • Impaired coordination and balance – difficulty walking or standing may result; partial or complete paralysis is possible
  • Spasticity – increased muscle tone leading to stiffness and spasms
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Loss of sensation
  • Speech problems
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Hearing loss
  • Urinary problems
  • Temperature sensitivity – worsening of MS symptoms by heat

Many people with multiple sclerosis experience cognitive impairments related to their disease. Cognitive dysfunction in MS is typically mild, but may include difficulty with any of the following:

  • Concentration
  • Attention
  • Memory
  • Judgment

Patient Support

Education and support services at the Multiple Sclerosis Center include:

  • Individual education and counseling
  • Visiting nurse referrals
  • Social work services
  • Linkages with community resources
  • Professional and peer-led support groups
  • Family support conferences
  • Referrals to:

Our team

Souhel Najjar, MD

  • Executive Director - Neurology Service Line
  • Senior Vice President - Neurology Service Line
  • Chairman of Neurology, Lenox Hill Hospital
  • Chairman of Neurology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center
  • Chairman of Neurology, North Shore University Hospital
  • Chairman of Neurology, Staten Island University Hospital
  • Professor, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
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Asaff Harel, MD

  • Assistant Professor, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
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130 E. 77th Street , 8 Black Hall
New York, New York 10075
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