Shared decision making helps to ensure that people with MS are active participants in their own treatment decisions. Shared decision making is an approach endorsed by several MS advocacy organizations as well as the Consortium of MS Centers (CMSC).1 In shared decision making, decisions about disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) involve two-way communication about treatment goals between the person with MS and their doctor. Shared decision making may also include caregivers such as close family members.
Why is Shared Decision Making Relevant for People with MS?
MS is a chronic illness with no cure.1 Since you will be living with MS for the rest of your life, it is important for you to have input into which DMT you take. There are multiple different DMTs in various classes available today.1 Different classes of treatments work in different ways, are taken in different ways, and each have their own risks.1 It’s important to discuss with your doctor which DMT fits your needs and lifestyle requirements.
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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).
In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually, the disease can cause permanent damage or deterioration of the nerves.
Signs and symptoms of MS vary widely and depend on the amount of nerve damage and which nerves are affected. Some people with severe MS may lose the ability to walk independently or at all, while others may experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms.
There’s no cure for multiple sclerosis. However, treatments can help speed recovery from attacks, modify the course of the disease and manage symptoms.