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Neuro-Immunology - Multiple Sclerosis Center

The Yale Multiple Sclerosis Center provides comprehensive care to patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optica, transverse myelitis, optic neuritis, and other neuroimmune disorders. Expert, fellowship-trained neurologists collaborate with experienced nurses, therapists, and social workers to care for patients at all stages of disease. Our state-of-the-art facility in North Haven, Connecticut boasts easy parking and handicapped access. Advanced MRI scanners, a clinical laboratory, and an infusion center are on-site.

In addition to receiving expert clinical care, patients at the Yale MS Center have the opportunity to participate in the rich and vibrant culture of biomedical research at Yale. The Center is at the cutting edge of clinical MS research and participates in numerous clinical trials. Through our collaborative efforts with Human Translational Immunology and the Department of Immunobiology, patients also have the opportunity to contribute to basic research, which is fundamental to advancing our understanding of multiple sclerosis.

MS Access - Our Program to Expedite the Diagnosis and Treatment of MS

For patients with multiple sclerosis, we believe an accurate and timely diagnosis and early treatment are crucial to a patient's overall well-being. We also understand that a potential diagnosis of MS can be overwhelming, and a long wait to see a specialist can cause needless anxiety and frustration. We developed MS Access to address these issues.

The physicians at the Yale MS Center will expedite initial visits for individuals about whom another doctor (e.g. primary care doctor, general neurologist, or ophthalmologist) is concerned about a new diagnosis of MS or optic neuritis. We will work to see these patients urgently, arrange for any necessary diagnostic imaging or lab work, and address treatment options early.

To take advantage of this program, referring physicians can call our MS Clinic in North Haven, CT (203-287-6100) and let the staff know that the referral is for MS Access. Patients who have been recently diagnosed with MS or who suspect that they might have it can ask their physician to refer them to the Yale Multiple Sclerosis Center.

Important Information Regarding COVID-19

The Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), which causes a respiratory disease. This is a rapidly evolving situation, and questions regarding the use of multiple sclerosis disease modifying therapies during this outbreak are being raised.

You are not at increased risk of infection due to having a diagnosis of MS, neuromyelitis optica, or any other neuroimmune disease. However, certain medications used to treat these diseases do lower the immune system, and may therefore put you at increased risk of a severe infection with COVID-19.

The National MS Society's National Medical Advisory Committee recommends the following:

  • People with MS should follow CDC guidelines and any additional recommendations for people at risk for serious illnesses for COVID-19. Getting vaccinated, wearing a face mask, social distancing, and washing hands are among the best ways to slow the spread of the virus.
  • People with MS should continue their MS disease modifying therapies (DMTs) and discuss specific risks with their MS healthcare provider prior to stopping a DMT.
  • People with MS should be vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe for people with MS and are safe to use with MS medications.
  • There is no preferred COVID-19 vaccine for those living with MS.
People taking certain types of DMTs, including ocrelizumab (Ocrevus®), rituximab (Rituxan®), fingolimod (Gilenya®), siponimod (Mayzent®), ozanimod (Zeposia®), and ponesimod (Ponvory®) should receive an extra dose of COVID-19 vaccine. For example, people taking these medications would receive three full doses of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, due to their immunocompromised status.

These recommendations reflect the expert opinion of the Yale MS physicians. They are based on a statement by the National Medical Advisory Committee, developed on the basis of their clinical experience and assessment of the limited data available regarding COVID-19 and MS DMTs. They have been endorsed by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) and members of the MS Coalition. We are continuing to monitor this evolving situation, and these recommendations may be modified as more data becomes available.

Multiple Sclerosis - Yale Medicine Explains


Immune Cells in the MS Nervous System