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Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis2024-05-24T10:09:17-04:00

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, debilitating disease of the central nervous system. The symptoms of MS can range from mild—producing little or no disability—to severe—leading to substantial disability, sometimes quickly. The unpredictable physical and emotional effects can be life-long, but effective multiple sclerosis treatment can help manage symptoms and change the course of the disease.

The Linda E. Cardinale MS Center at CentraState is a regional leader in care for patients with multiple sclerosis. The center provides integrated, comprehensive care that includes accurate diagnostics, emerging therapies, access to renowned physicians and powerful wellness programs so patients with MS can live their best lives.



The majority of people often experience their first symptoms of MS between the ages of 20 and 40. Symptoms of MS can be mild to severe and may change over the course of the disease. These can include:

  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Walking difficulties
  • Numbness/tingling in the arms and legs
  • Stiff or weak muscles
  • Vision problems
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Bladder and bowel problems.
  • Sexual problems caused by nerve damage to the central nervous system

Less common symptoms can include hearing loss, speech problems, swallowing problems, tremors, seizures, breathing problems.



Our expert team at The Linda E. Cardinale MS Center offers comprehensive care for MS patients, including:

  • Injection training
  • Medication review
  • Symptom management
  • Patient and family education
  • Patient advocacy
  • Coordination of services within the center and community

The MS therapies practiced at CentraState are key components to treating symptoms and helping patients achieve their best health, such as:

  • MRI
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Triple evoked potential testing
  • EMG
  • EEG
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Aquatic therapy
  • Patient and family support group
  • Wheelchair clinic
  • Transportation
  • Orthotist-prosthetist evaluations
  • Cognitive testing and training
  • Patient education programs
  • Onsite outpatient pharmacy
  • Wellness program

There is no cure for multiple sclerosis. Treatment typically focuses on slowing the progression of the disease, speeding recovery from attacks, and managing MS symptoms. Treatments may include:

  • Immunomodulators/disease-modifying therapies
  • Chemotherapy
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Corticosteroids
  • Intrathecal baclofen and pump management for severe spasticity
  • Symptom management
  • Bowel and bladder management
  • Botox®
  • VitalStim® therapy for swallowing disorders


The Linda E. Cardinale MS Center offers two comprehensive wellness programs designed to address the physical and psychological issues associated with MS.

MS Wellness Program

This one-of-a-kind and award-winning 12-week program helps strengthen mind and body through:

Education: Patients learn about best nutrition practices for those with MS, how to manage stress and deal with continence issues, and how to avoid depression.

Aquatics: A cool-water pool, buoys, and other water-resistance tools help patients build strength and improve balance. The program also offers non-certification scuba classes, which help patients improve their balance while having fun.

Exercise: Group classes help improve movement and increase flexibility through various seated exercises, weightlifting, strength and conditioning, tai chi, and Pilates techniques.

Wellness Graduate Program

After completing the initial 12-week MS Wellness Program, graduates may participate in an advanced program that consists of strength and balance classes, yoga and aquatics. This includes tai chi, a system of gentle exercises and flowing movements that reduces stress and promotes balance.

To learn more about the MS wellness programs, call 732-294-2700 or speak with your physician.


A team of specialists provide coordinated care at The Linda E. Cardinale MS Center. The team is led by neurologists who specialize in MS, including:

  • Medical director Amos Katz, MD, fellowship trained at Yale University School of Medicine in Connecticut
  • Caren Marks, MD, fellowship trained at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in NYC

These experts are supported by a nurse coordinator, occupational and physical therapists, and speech and language pathologists. We offer specialized physician services, including a physiatrist and a urologist for urological evaluation and treatment for bladder problems. Additional support systems include nutritionists, social workers, equipment vendors, home care companies to assist in coordinating care, and psychotherapists for counseling.



Caren Marks, MD

Caren Marks, MD

Multiple Sclerosis, Neurology

Amos Katz, MD

Amos Katz, MD

Multiple Sclerosis, Neurology

Jasmin Patel, MD

Jasmin Patel, MD

Multiple Sclerosis, Neurology

Cynthia's Story
Cynthia's Story
Cynthia's Story
When Cynthia James was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) – a chronic, debilitating disease of the central nervous system – she could’ve scaled back her commitments while processing her new reality. Instead, she found ways to help others with the disease. Six years ago, with a career she loved, a vibrant social life and numerous volunteer commitments, Cynthia and her...Read More >
Brian's Story
Brian's Story
Brian's Story
Brian Giacchi has experienced muscle spasms off and on since age 9. When the condition ramped up in his 20s, he sought medical advice. Unfortunately, several years of doctors’ visits, testing, and frustration failed to solve the mystery. Then finally, at age 34, he got an answer: he had multiple sclerosis. “I felt like people thought I was a hypochondriac...Read More >
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For Bob Granito, the personal obstacles he conquers during a 12-mile Tough Mudder® are harsher than the challenges of a 16-foot-high wall, dangling live wires, or a water pit. A veteran participant of 10 Tough Mudders, the 55-year-old Freehold resident demonstrates that his multiple sclerosis (MS) does not define what he can accomplish. “I do these events because I refuse...Read More >


Currently, there is no one test available to accurately diagnose MS so your physician may order a number of tests to rule out other disorders. If your physician suspects MS, he or she will first conduct a thorough medical history and neurological examination. Your doctor may then order:

  • Blood tests to help rule out other diseases with symptoms similar to MS
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test to look for evidence in the brain or spinal cord indicating MS
  • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to look for markers of inflammation indicating MS
  • Tests to measure electrical activity in areas of the brain and spinal cord

At this time, the cause of MS is not known. There are associations with specific genetics, prior viral infections and dietary considerations as well. Multiple sclerosis is considered an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the myelin substance that insulates the nerves and causes damage to the central nervous system.

MS is not considered to be directly inherited, however, studies indicate individuals may have a susceptibility if they have family members with MS. Additionally, these studies point to environmental factors as triggering factors in the development of MS.

Although there is no cure for MS, treatment has improved greatly. Current disease treatment focuses on disease-modifying therapies to reduce relapses, prevent new MRI abnormalities, and slow or stop the progression. medications can be used to reduce or manage symptoms related to MS.

Yes, exercise has been shown to be helpful for patients with MS. Patients should consult with their physician regarding their physical abilities and work with a physical therapist who is experienced with MS that can help design a customized exercise program suitable to individual needs.


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