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At Atrium Health Neurosciences Institute’s Carolinas MS Center, we offer comprehensive, expert care for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neuroinflammatory disorders.

We’re the only clinic in the Charlotte region recognized as a Center for Comprehensive MS Care by the National MS Society, offering the highest level of care. And whether you’re experiencing new symptoms or have had a diagnosis for years, our team of experienced doctors and MS specialists has the expertise to provide personalized treatment for your needs.

Our approach addresses every aspect of your well-being with seamlessly coordinated care – so you’re empowered to live your best life.

Why choose Atrium Health?

  • National recognition: As designated National Multiple Sclerosis Society Partners in MS Care and the Charlotte region’s only Center for Comprehensive Care, we have the knowledge and expertise needed to treat even the most complex cases.
  • Whole-person care:We don’t just treat your symptoms – we treat you. With specialized women’s care, mental health services, disease-specific support groups, educational classes, community resources and more, we make sure you’re fully supported every step of the way.
  • Innovative research: We’re on the forefront of medical advances that offer more hope for those living with conditions like MS. Through our clinical trials program, patients have access to the latest, most promising treatments before they’re widely available.
  • Multidisciplinary team: Our program includes fellowship-trained neurologists, MS-certified nurses, ophthalmologists, gastroenterologists, neuro-urologists, psychiatrists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and many other experts who will put their minds together for you. And our MS nurse navigators are here to make sure all the care you need is seamlessly coordinated.

Request an appointment

To request an appointment with an Atrium Health Neurosciences Institute neurologist, please call 704-446-1900.

Patient care – what we treat

We diagnose and treat a range of neuroinflammatory disorders at our MS care centers. With these conditions, the immune system – which usually protects the body – becomes overly active and attacks the nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and nerves).

Our experts offer specialized care for:

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS), including pediatric MS in collaboration with Atrium Health Levine Children’s
  • Neuromyelitis optica (NMO), also known as Devic’s disease
  • Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disorders (MOGAD)
  • Neurosarcoidosis
  • Neuro-lupus
  • Paraneoplastic neurological syndromes
  • Other rare immune-mediated disorders of the brain and spinal cord

Tests and diagnosis

Our doctors use the latest techniques and technologies to accurately diagnose your symptoms, so we can deliver the most effective treatments.

In addition to reviewing your medical history and a physical exam, the process may involve:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which produces detailed images of the brain and spinal cord that may show signs of multiple sclerosis or another condition.
  • Blood tests to help rule out other disorders that can cause similar symptoms.
  • Evoked potential tests, where electrodes are placed on your scalp to measure electrical activity in the brain.
  • A spinal tap (lumbar puncture), a procedure to check your spinal fluid for signs of inflammation.

Treatments

There’s no known cure for neurologic autoimmune disorders like MS. But with treatment, we can slow the progression of disease, manage symptoms, prevent and treat relapses, improve function and promote wellness.

Our experienced specialists work together to provide customized, coordinated care that fits your lifestyle and goals. Here are some of the therapies we may use.

Medication and infusion therapies

We offer the latest medications to help you gain control of your condition. Our range of injectable, oral and IV infusion therapies includes:

  • Disease-modifying therapies (DMT), which can slow or stop the progression of disease and reduce relapses.
  • Symptom-relief medication to manage symptoms like muscle stiffness, fatigue, difficulty walking, depression, urinary problems and pain.
  • Intravenous immunoglobin (IVIg), an infusion of antibodies that can improve immune function in some cases.
  • Corticosteroids, usually given in high doses to treat inflammation and symptoms during an MS relapse.

Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation can make it easier to manage day-to-day life. Our experts have extensive experience helping people who have MS and other neurological autoimmune conditions improve function. Our services include:

  • Physical therapy to improve strength, coordination and balance.
  • Occupational therapy to help you perform everyday activities more safely and independently.
  • Speech therapy to help with breathing, speaking and swallowing.

Supportive care

Our comprehensive approach means we care for your total well-being. As part of your treatment at Atrium Health Neurosciences Institute, you’ll have access to specialized support for your body and mind, like:

  • Dietary therapy to help manage symptoms and promote long-term health. Our dedicated MS dietitians will work with you to provide personalized nutrition recommendations.
  • Mental health care, including one-on-one counseling for depression and anxiety. Our mental health experts provide psychological and emotional support to help you cope with challenges.
  • Women’s health care to address and manage the specific concerns of women with MS and related conditions, like treatment planning for a safe and healthy pregnancy.

Patient resources

Learn more about neuroinflammatory disorders. For more information about our care, check out our frequently asked questions.

Research

Our neurological expertise is powered by leading-edge research. We apply the latest findings in real time to provide the best possible care. And we continually participate in innovative studies to better understand what causes diseases like MS and look for potential cures.

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Find a clinical trial

Through our in-house neurosciences research, we give patients access to potentially breakthrough therapies.

Use our search tool to find current clinical trials. To learn more about our available studies, talk to your doctor or call us at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

Search clinical trials

Make a referral

When you refer a patient to us, we keep you involved and up to date throughout their care. To make a referral, call our dedicated physician referral line at 704-468-0101.

Frequently asked questions

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a long-term autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and nerves.

These attacks damage the tissue that protects the nerves, making it hard for your brain to communicate with the rest of your body. This leads to symptoms that can be mild, moderate or debilitating.

Our team has experience diagnosing and treating all types of MS, including:

  • Relapsing-remitting: This is the most common form of MS. There are clear relapses (or flare-ups) of symptoms and periods of recovery between each relapse.
  • Primary-progressive: Symptoms steadily progress without clear relapses or periods of recovery.
  • Secondary progressive: This starts as relapsing-remitting MS. Then, over time, symptoms worsen and relapses may last longer.
  • Progressive-relapsing: There is steady worsening of symptoms over time with regular flare-ups that may not be followed by periods of recovery.

Experts still don’t know exactly what causes MS, but it appears that genetics and environmental factors play a role. MS is not directly inherited, but having a close family member with MS is a risk factor for the disease. MS is also more common in women.

The signs and symptoms of MS can vary a lot from person to person, and they can change as the disease progresses.

Some symptoms of MS include:

  • Problems with vision, like blurry vision, double vision or vision loss
  • Speech issues
  • Weakness
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Fatigue
  • Walking and coordination problems
  • Dizziness
  • Significant confusion
  • Bladder and bowel dysfunction

Your MS care will be led by a neurologist, a doctor who specializes in conditions that affect the nervous system. At Atrium Health Neurosciences Institute, we have neurologists whose knowledge and expertise earned recognition as Partners in MS Care by the National MS Society.

Your neurologist will work closely with your primary care doctor and other experts to address all your needs. Your care team may include:

  • MS nurses
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Psychologists
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech/language pathologists
  • Social workers
  • Radiologists
  • Researchers
  • Urologists
  • Urogynecologists
  • Other specialists who can treat your specific symptoms

Relapsing MS is the most common form of MS. During relapses – also called exacerbations, flares or attacks – inflammation in the brain and spine causes new symptoms to appear or old symptoms to worsen. A relapse can last anywhere from 24 hours to weeks or months.

Relapses are followed by remissions, or times when you feel better, and your symptoms partly or completely go away. Attacks are different from person to person and can be mild or severe.

A pseudo-exacerbation is when you have new or worsening symptoms that aren’t related to new inflammation. The symptoms appear very similar to an MS relapse, but they’re triggered by other factors.

Some causes of pseudo-exacerbations are illness, fever, heat exposure and emotional and physical stress. Once these other causes are treated or avoided, the pseudo-exacerbation goes away.

One of the most common triggers of pseudo-exacerbations is urinary tract infections (UTIs). You may also experience worsening of symptoms when your body temperature rises, like when you have a fever, during exercise or when it is hot outside.

Contact your MS care team about any new or worsening symptoms lasting longer than 24 hours.

We’ll talk with you to determine what your next steps should be. The more information you can share, the better. Some questions we’ll ask are:

  • Is the symptom new or old?
  • Has the symptom lasted more than 24 hours?
  • Do you have a fever or any signs of infection?
  • Have you been overheated, experienced increased stress or overexerted yourself?
  • Have you had any changes to your MS treatment plan?
  • Have you had any health changes that are being treated by another doctor?
  • Most MS symptoms don’t require emergency care. But if you’re experiencing life-threatening symptoms, call 911 or go to the Emergency Department.

Our MS doctors do everything they can to prevent relapses with disease-modifying therapies. Still, relapses can happen.

Most relapses go away on their own, without treatment. But if you experience MS relapses that make it difficult to function, support is available.

The most common treatment for MS relapse is corticosteroids, which can be taken by mouth or given through an IV. These steroids decrease inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. We also offer other acute treatment options, like intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and plasma exchange (also known as plasmapheresis).

Your care team will explain the available options and help you decide what’s best for your unique needs.

Your appointments are always tailored to your unique needs. If you have questions about a specific appointment, contact your doctor’s office.

It might also be helpful to know some of our clinic policies and recommendations below.

Appointment scheduling and cancellation
  • Appointments required: We’re not able to see walk-ins. To schedule an appointment, please call us at 704-446-1900. We’ll do our best to get you in soon, but we can’t guarantee same-day appointments at this time.
  • Canceling and rescheduling appointments: If you aren’t able to keep your appointment, please call 704-446-1900 to cancel and reschedule.
  • Follow-up appointments: To avoid delays in care, we encourage you to schedule your follow-up appointments on your way out of the office after a visit. Your provider will give you clear instructions for when you need to come back in.
Before your next appointment
  • Plan your visit: When planning your visit to our clinic, think about whether you need help with transportation, childcare, household duties or work accommodations. Let your care team know if you have concerns or need support.
  • Prepare FMLA forms: If you have to miss work due to your condition, it may be helpful to complete paperwork for intermittent leave (taking blocks of time away from work) under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). We can assist you with this. See the answer to the next question to find out how to get these forms completed.
  • Gather personal information: If there are any changes to your personal information, please let your doctor’s office know before or during your appointment. This includes your contact and insurance information, the name and contact information of anyone else we can speak to on your behalf, and the name and location of all other healthcare providers.
  • Bring your MRIs and medications: When you come to your appointment, please bring any MRIs (original or copies) and a list of any medications you’re taking (including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and supplements).
  • Check in on time: We ask that you arrive 10 to 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to allow time for check-in.

Most refills are handled during your regular appointments. If you need a refill before or after your appointment, you can call our office at 704-446-1900 or send a message to your care team through MyAtriumHealth.

Some medicines require labs before you can refill them. If this is the case for any of your medications, our team will contact you to let you know.

We’re happy to help you with medical forms. You can:

  • Bring the form with you to an appointment
  • Fax it to our office at 704-446-1289
  • Mail it to our office at 1225 Harding Place, Suite 4200, Charlotte, NC 28204
  • Attach it to a message to your care team on MyAtriumHealth

Please provide detailed information about where we should send it once it’s complete and if there’s a deadline. Once we have your form, it typically takes 10 to 15 days for us to complete it.

Our Providers

Our highly experienced team includes neuroimmunology and multiple sclerosis specialists and general neurologists who diagnose treat a range conditions. Find the best multiple sclerosis doctors near you.

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