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Multiple Sclerosis: An Unpredictable Disease That Varies in Severity

presented by Paddy Garvin-Higgins, MN, RN, CRRN, CNS, PHN

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial— Paddy Garvin-Higgins receives compensation from MedBridge for the production of this course. There are no other relevant financial relationships. Nonfinancial— No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Video Runtime: 33 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 9 Minutes

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disabling demyelinating disease that varies in severity. We have come a long way in our understanding of underlying causes for this often-devastating central nervous system (CNS) disorder. Recent scientific discovery suggests that this could be an autoimmune reaction with genetic or environmental causation. Contemporary treatment focuses on this underlying cause, which has led to the development of life-saving drugs that help the affected patient to have a better quality of life. The clinician working with a patient diagnosed with MS must have a good understanding of the four main MS patterns and the targeted treatments and care management associated with each. This course is most appropriate for clinicians working in neurological inpatient and post-acute care rehabilitation settings. It could also be beneficial for other rehabilitation professionals, such as social workers and dietitians.

Meet Your Instructor

Paddy Garvin-Higgins, MN, RN, CRRN, CNS, PHN

Paddy has been involved in the nursing field since 1968. She received a diploma certificate in registered nursing in 1975 from Lutheran Medical Center School of Nursing in Cleveland, Ohio. She received both her BSN (1993) and MN (1996) degrees from the University of Phoenix. She completed additional postgraduate work at Loma Linda University School…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Incidence, Etiology, and Possible Causes of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

While MS is frequently diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, it can also occur in older children or older adults. MS can be difficult to diagnose and is variable in its progression and severity. This chapter will give a historical perspective to our understanding of MS today. It will discuss incidence, prevalence, possible causes, cardinal symptoms, and major diagnostic strategies used for a definitive diagnosis.

2. Major Types of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

MS is described as having one of four major patterns of disease progression. The clinician must have an appropriate understanding of each of these types to assist the patient with mutual goal-setting and care planning. In turn, the patient regains a sense of control to manage his/her own care to stay healthy and well. This chapter will outline each of these types of MS, along with incidence and latest modulating treatments.

3. Management of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Due to the variable nature of MS, the interprofessional health care team may find it complex to manage. Challenges arise, not only for the newly diagnosed patient, but also for those living with the chronicity of MS. Exacerbations and remissions are common with this disease. Lifelong rehabilitation and comprehensive health education to keep the patient healthy in the face of lifestyle changes are imperative for maintaining a better quality of life. This chapter will present an overview of the many components of a comprehensive rehabilitation plan of care that can aid the person with MS in maintaining optimal wellness.

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