Patricia Coyle, MD: Multiple Sclerosis Symptom Management


Ensuring patients quality of life is still being attended to is of utmost importance to the director of the Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Center at Stony Brook University.

“It’s not quite as sexy as talking about disease-modifying therapy, but it can be transformative for MS individuals.”

After many years, treatments for progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) are finally starting to see some headway. The first approval for the progressive disease, ocrelizumab (Ocrevus), came in May 2017.

This has given Patricia Coyle, MD, an appreciation for the targeting of grey matter in progressive MS, as well as the presence of neurodegeneration at the earliest stages—highlighting a need for treatment to start early.

Although, with all the focus on treating patients earlier and finally being able to treat those with progressive forms of the disease, there remains a need for symptom management. Coyle, the director of the Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Center at Stony Brook University sat with NeurologyLive to discuss how this can often be overlooked. Fatigue, tremor, spasticity, sleep disturbances, and many other issues that impact patients’ quality of life.

While it may not be as “sexy as talking about disease-modifying therapy,” as Coyle puts it, ensuring that patients’ everyday symptoms are being properly controlled and taken care of is still a priority for her. Particularly, patients with severe disease or preexisting disability can feel as though they are being left out with the focus having shifted to treating patients who are earliest in the disease course.

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