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Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

VA Puget Sound Health Care System is committed to supporting Veterans with multiple sclerosis to live a full and productive life, offering a complete spectrum of health care services.

About MS

MS is a complex neurologic disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS) which includes the brain, spinal cord and vision pathways. In MS, the immune system attacks the myelin sheath, the fatty tissue that surrounds and protects nerve fibers, as well as the nerve fibers themselves. This damage is called demyelination, and the scar tissues that develop when myelin is damaged are called sclerosis, also known as lesions or plaques.

When any part of the myelin sheath or nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed, nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord are distorted or interrupted, causing a wide variety of symptoms. Sometimes the myelin can repair itself and the MS symptoms go away after the immune attack, or relapse. However, over time, the myelin and underlying nerve fibers cannot recover and suffer permanent damage. This may lead to a decline in function which you would notice as a worsening of your MS symptoms.

MS Care

VA Puget Sound Health Care System is committed to supporting Veterans with MS to live a full and productive life, offering a complete spectrum of health care services. Its MS health care team works with Veterans and their families to develop an individualized plan to support the best health outcomes. Veterans are encouraged to learn as much as they can about MS and engage in their care.

Neurology’s role in MS care:

  • Establish the correct diagnosis of MS.
  • Provide specialty care in Outpatient MS clinic.
  • Provide Inpatient care for management of severe MS exacerbations.
  • Perform lumbar punctures, if needed.
  • Select disease modifying treatments and monitor their safety and effectiveness.
  • Monitor the effects of MS with MRI.
  • Partner with the VA’s infusion clinic to provide IV medications or therapies.
  • Partner with RCS-MS Clinic in managing functional impairments or MS related symptoms that affect quality of life.

Rehabilitation’s role in MS care:

  • Assess and manage medications for MS symptoms.
  • Assess and manage MS symptoms such as fatigue, bowel and bladder problems, spasticity, pain, vision, and mood alteration.
  • Assess and manage memory, swallowing and speech problems.
  • Assess and manage problems with mobility and doing a home exercise program.
  • Assess and manage problems with self-care like getting dressed, eating, getting on and off the toilet and in and out of the shower.
  • Assess for and prescribe equipment such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, home safety equipment braces, and other adaptive technology.
  • Assess and manage mood problems.
  • Evaluate if there are VA or community resources that Veterans qualify for.
  • Evaluate and make recommendations for leisure activities or help access community happenings despite disability.
  • Vocational services.
Below identifies are some of the many MS-related services that may be available to Veterans with MS.
Adaptive Home Improvements Hospice Care Respiratory Therapy
Adaptive Home Improvements Adaptive Equipment Hospice Care Independent Living Programs Respiratory Therapy Respite Care
Adaptive Home Improvements Adaptive Technology Hospice Care Long-Term Care Centers Respiratory Therapy Social Workers
Adaptive Home Improvements Blind Rehabilitation Hospice Care Neuropsychology Respiratory Therapy Spasticity Management
Adaptive Home Improvements Bowel and Bladder Management Hospice Care Nursing care Respiratory Therapy Speech and Swallowing Therapy
Adaptive Home Improvements Caregiver Support and Training Hospice Care Occupational Therapy Respiratory Therapy Telehealth
Adaptive Home Improvements Driver Training Hospice Care Pain Management Respiratory Therapy Vehicle Modifications
Adaptive Home Improvements Exercise Programs Hospice Care Physical Therapy Respiratory Therapy Vocational Rehabilitation
Adaptive Home Improvements Fall Prevention Hospice Care Preventative Care Respiratory Therapy Wheelchair Seating
Adaptive Home Improvements Home Health Aides Hospice Care Psychology Respiratory Therapy Whole Health
Adaptive Home Improvements Home Modifications Hospice Care Recreational Therapy Respiratory Therapy Memory Assessment/Treatment

MS Clinic

VA Puget Sound’s MS Clinic has been designated a Regional Program within the VA MS Centers of Excellence national network of MS Regional and MS Support Programs.

Locations and Hours of Operation

VA Seattle Medical Center

1660 S. Columbian Way

Seattle, WA 98108

 

Neurology - Main Office Bldg. 100/5B-108

MS Clinic at Primary Care, 2nd Floor on Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Rehabilitation Care - Main Office Bldg. 103/Rm 1117
 

MS Clinic at Building 103, 1st floor on Mondays 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Thursday 9 a.m. – noon

MS Clinic at West Clinic, 1st Floor on Wednesdays 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment in Neurology: 206-277-3341

To make an appointment in Rehabilitation Care: 206-764-2202