MS Made Simple: These Forms of MS Are Affecting Black Patients (Video)



Dr. Mitzi Joi Williams is a top neurologist and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Specialist in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University and her Doctor of Medicine degree from Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Williams completed her internship and residency in neurology as well as a Clinical Fellowship in Multiple Sclerosis at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA. Dr. Williams has a strong interest in understanding and furthering research in MS in ethnic minority populations. She is a sought-after speaker and presenter and has discussed her research both nationally and internationally at various scientific meetings. She has spearheaded and participated in multiple Steering Committees and Work Groups to further research in underserved population with MS. She also has recently increased involvement in efforts to increase diversity in clinical research and educate the community about the importance of research participation. Dr. Williams is the author of MS Made Simple: The Essential Guide to Understanding Your Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis. Because of her passion for teaching and advocacy.

There are several different types of MS and our thoughts in the medical community are really changing in how we categorize MS. But traditionally we put MS into four different categories.

The first category is what we call it relapsing, remitting MS. And that's where a person has a symptom that comes on. It lasts for a period of time and it usually goes away or significantly improves. That is the most common form of MS that affects about 85% of people when they're first diagnosed.

The second most common is what we call secondary progressive. And that is a type of MS where people started out with the relapsing-remitting, but symptoms that come and go and come and go. And eventually instead of having those symptoms that are very sudden or acute, they more have symptoms that get slightly worse over time. So instead of waking up for instance and having a loss of vision in an eye, they may notice that their walking is a little bit worse, that they may not be able to do as much as they used to do. That usually happens somewhere between 10 to 20 years into diagnosis.

The third type of MS is what we call primary progressive disease. And that's where people really start off and they just have symptoms that just pile up on top of each other and continue to get worse over time. They really don't have those acute symptoms where they wake up and they can't move one side or wake up and have numbness and tingling on one side.

And then finally there is a type of MS really is what we call clinically isolated syndrome or really pre MS. And so that's where a person has a symptom that's very typical of MS and an MRI that has spots that looks like MS, but they may not have had multiple symptoms over time yet. So it's kind of the first episode that indicates to us that that person will likely go on to have more episodes, um, that are typical of Multiple Sclerosis.

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

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