Monograph: Recognition and Management of Multiple Sclerosis: How PAs Can Support Patient Care

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common, non-traumatic cause of central nervous system (CNS) disability in adults. In the United States approximately 400,000 people are affected by MS, with approximately 2.5 million affected worldwide. The cause of MS is not known, though it is believed that an environmental trigger initiates an autoimmune event, creating disease in genetically-sensitive people. Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with MS, with most patients presenting with symptoms in their late twenties or early thirties. This educational program is designed to give PAs an overview of MS and to provide much needed education to support the complex management of patients with MS and allow PAs to more effectively collaborate with neurology specialists. Additional training in MS is important for PAs because of their role in health care maintenance and to support patients when MS specialists are not accessible. Through the tactical combination of online and print formats, this program will appeal to various learning styles and allow participants to reinforce their knowledge and acquire new skills that can immediately be applied to clinical practice.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the PA should be better able to:
  • Recognize the most common neurological signs and symptoms of a clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) that may be encountered in a primary care setting
  • Indicate when neurological symptoms meet the criteria for a MS relapse
  • Use knowledge of treatment-associated risks of disease modifying therapies (DMTs) to provide appropriate preventative care for patients with MS
  • Address comorbid conditions when treating patients with MS
  • Identify patients who may be nonadherent to DMT therapy for MS and refer to treating neurologist when appropriate

Acknowledgment of Commercial Support

Supported by an independent educational grant from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.