Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, auto-immune disease that impacts the central nervous system of the body, particularly the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves in the eyes – producing a wide array of symptoms in the body. Symptoms and effects of the disease vary from person-to-person, making it hard to predict the progression of the disease in the body.
In multiple sclerosis, the immune system of the body starts attacking the healthy tissue – the myelin sheath – that surrounds and protects the fibres of the nerves and helps them conduct electric signals efficiently. When the sheath is mostly damaged or disappears, it causes inflammation and scars known as plaques or lesions that mainly affect the brain stem, cerebellum (movement and balance coordinator), spinal cord, optic nerves and the white brain matter. As the severity of the problem increase, more lesions develop creating higher chances of permanent nerve damage. This causes a communication problem between the brain and the rest of the organs, causing severe symptoms as well as a loss of certain body functions.
For a person who has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, finding the right doctor – neurologist is very critical to effectively treat or manage the problem. In that context, it is very critical for the patient to know how to select the right neurologist. A neurologist’s knowledge and expertise are very important to treat multiple sclerosis. Other than that, some other tips to find the best neurologist for multiple sclerosis are:
Ask for Referrals
The primary and most important tip is to take referrals from the primary care doctor that diagnosed the problem. Make a list of the referrals and also ask your friends and family to suggest a neurologist they have experience with. You can also ask other healthcare providers. This helps to verify the credentials, expertise and effectiveness through a reliable source.
Check the Credentials
Another critical tip for finding the best neurologist to treat multiple sclerosis is to check the credentials of the neurologist you meet or have been referred to. Credentials include education, training and knowledge of the neurologist. These credentials help to determine the expertise and skills of the neurologist in treating multiple sclerosis.
Consider Relevant Experience
While selecting a neurologist to treat a condition, as severe as multiple sclerosis – it is very necessary to consider the relevant experience of the neurologist on an overall basis and also in the particular field of treating patients with multiple sclerosis. More the experience of the neurologist better is the chance of positive result. Multiple sclerosis is a very popular disease that witness treatment updates now and then, even internationally. It is beneficial if the neurologist is updated with the recent developments and is aware of the new treatment options. One should not take any risks with the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
Analyse the Communication Style
It is very necessary that the neurologist that is treating you is able to provide you with the comfort and confidence of care. Patients should consider the communication style of the neurologist before beginning any kind of treatment. A good neurologist should be able to support the patient’s information need and be easily approachable. Moreover, the neurologist should consider and pay heed to the treatment preferences of the patient and ensure there is effective two-way communication. Multiple Sclerosis is a complex disease and might require multiple discussions; hence, it is important to choose a neurologist that makes you utmost comfortable and supports effective communication.
Assess the Hospital Quality
While choosing a neurologist for multiple sclerosis, it is important that you also assess the quality of the hospital where the neurologist treats patients. It is important that the hospital concerned is a recognized medical care facility, with strong research and impeccable tertiary care facilities. As per the general trend, good hospitals with strong ratings tend to have a lesser complication and higher survival rates. Moreover, it is also very vital for the patient to choose a hospital which is easily accessible and is nearby; this is necessary because treatment of multiple sclerosis requires the patient to visit the hospital for various tests and treatments.
Know the Neurologist’s Team
Before finalizing the neurologist for treating multiple sclerosis, it is very necessary to know the team that will accompany the neurologist. Multiple sclerosis treatment requires a team approach including a neurologist, radiologist, etc. You would also need rehabilitation and other supporting services that ensure you get attentive and comprehensive medical care.
These tips are very useful while finding the best neurologist to treat a critical condition such as multiple sclerosis. Overall, a well-learned neurologist with strong experience and working in a good hospital accompanied by a credible team is the best choice to treat multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis s a very complex disease and selecting a good neurologist increases your chances of survival and maintain health.