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Timothy L. Vollmer, MD
Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Professor

Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center

Medical Director-Rocky Mountain MS Center
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Brian R. Apatoff, MD, PhD
Multiple Sclerosis Institute
Center for Neurological Disorders

Associate Professor Neurology and Neuroscience,

Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Clinical Attending in Neurology,
New York-Presbyterian Hospital
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Timothy L. Vollmer M.D.
Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center
Medical Director-Rocky Mountain MS Center

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What to watch for when it comes to MS: VIDEO

MS is an auto-immune disease that may not be familiar to many people, but a diagnosis impacts the whole family.
"For me I was living life just as everyone does: enjoying every given second," said Michele Bowers.

Sometimes life takes you in a direction you've never dreamed.

"I had lost vision in my right eye," said Bowers.

For Bowers, it was her health that threw her a curveball. She went to see a neurologist after being diagnosed with optic neuritis.

"I had no clue that it was to have an MRI and be evaluated for MS," said Bowers.

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 40. Bowers is now 43.

"I was in complete and utter denial," said Bowers.

Most people with MS are diagnosed in their 20's to 30's with optic neuritis and numbness in the legs being common symptoms.

"Multiple sclerosis is is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the holiest of holies: the brain and the superhighway, the spinal cord that takes all that information up and down," said OhioHealth Neuroimmunologist Dr. Aaron Boster.

Dr. Boster says if not treated early and aggressively, your quality of life takes a big hit.

"The natural history of MS neurological disability that accrues over years often times culminating in cane, walker, wheelchair," said Dr. Boster.

Her holistic approach to treatment at home wasn't working.

"The final straw was literally calling Dr. Boster and saying Dr. Boster my leg is working, but I can't feel anything from my thigh to the tip of my toe," said Bowers.

"If we see certain patterns on the MRI we can diagnose you before your second attack," said Dr. Boster.

The quicker the diagnosis the faster you can begin medication.

"In the modern era with treatment are expectation is a normal life expectancy and, if we play our cards right, a normal life quality," said Dr. Boster.

Dr. Boster says coming to terms with a diagnosis and treatment is a process that involves your family for understanding and support.

"You don't get to have MS by yourself. You have MS with your village. Right? And I want you to have as big a village as possible," said Dr. Boster.

"Here I am today and I feel as if I did pre-MS," said Bowers.

By stepping into the spotlight, Bowers hopes others will find strength to fight just as hard against MS.

"I want people to know that when you're dancing with MS, when it is your monster that you're bearing the burden of inside, you have to be aggressive," said Bowers.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by ABC6ONYOURSIDE
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length

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