May 15 marked the opening of the new Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center at the Yale-New Haven Hospital North Haven Medical Center. The North Haven, Conn., center provides state-of-the-art treatments for MS and rheumatic and digestive diseases, and will also provide patients with the opportunity to enroll in clinical trials to advance the understanding of the biology of these diseases and to improve treatment options.

MS patients often find themselves visiting different specialists in multiple locations. But the new center is a “one-stop shop” that allows for multidisciplinary collaboration among various specialists, says Daniel Pelletier, M.D., professor of neurology and diagnostic radiology and chief of the MS Center.

The center boasts seven exam rooms, a procedure room, an infusion room, and offices for clinicians and researchers. It also includes an on-site laboratory and blood-draw services, as well as diagnostic radiology services and equipment, including a powerful 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. Parking is free, easing access for patients with canes and wheelchairs.

“It’s a new time,” says Pelletier. “This is the infrastructure we’ve been waiting for to build a comprehensive MS team.”

Noting that scientists are beginning to understand the common mechanisms underlying many autoimmune diseases, David A. Hafler, M.D., chair and Gilbert H. Glaser Professor of neurology and professor of immunobiology, says, “The treatment that works in one disease can work in another. We’re finally beginning to learn about how to treat this disease.”