Neuro-Immunology - Multiple Sclerosis Center

Neuroimmunology Faculty Retreat

The Yale Multiple Sclerosis Center provides comprehensive care to patients with multiple sclerosis, 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, CT 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. Additionally, through our collaborative efforts with Human Translational Immunology and the Department of Immunobiology, patients have the opportunity to contribute to the basic research which is fundamental to advancing our understanding of multiple sclerosis.

Facilities & Referral Info

The Yale Multiple Sclerosis Center is located at 6 Devine Street in North Haven, CT. This state-of-the-art facility boasts easy parking and handicapped access for patients. Advanced MRI scanners, a clinical laboratory and an infusion center are on-site, allowing patients the convenience of receiving all of their neurologic care in a single location.

Satellite Locations

Stamford: Yale MS physicians are available to see patients at the Yale Musculoskeletal Clinic, located at 260 Long Ridge Rd in Stamford, CT. The clinic provides easy parking and handicapped access for patients and is conveniently located approximately a 10 minute drive from I-95. Advanced MRI scanners, a clinical laboratory and an infusion center are on site. The clinic takes a multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of disease, working together with physiatry, physical and occupational therapy as well as a full time MS nurse. Walking evaluations, bracing and wheelchair assessments can be performed as needed. Moreover, treatment with Botox is available on site to treat spasticity in advanced MS patients.

MS Access

We understand that the diagnosis of MS can be frightening and that a long wait to be evaluated by a specialist is frustrating. When MS is being considered, patients deserve to be evaluated, diagnosed and treated quickly. Physicians at the Yale MS Center will expedite initial visits for individuals in whom another doctor (e.g. primary care doctor, general neurologist) is concerned about a new diagnosis of MS. 

To take advantage of this, the referring doctor’s office should call our general appointment line (203-287-6100) and let the staff know that the referral is for “MS Access”.

Clinicians

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David A. Hafler, MD, FANA

William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly Professor of Neurology and Professor of Immunobiology

Chair, Department of Neurology

Neurologist-in-Chief, Yale New Haven Hospital

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Katherine DeStefano, MD, MS

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Medical Director of the Multiple Sclerosis/Interventional Immunology Center

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Adeniyi A. Fisayo, MD, PharmD

Assistant Professor of Neurology and of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

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Erin Longbrake, MD/PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Associate Director, Multiple Sclerosis Fellowship Program

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Naila Makhani, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Neurology) and of Neurology

Director, Pediatric MS Program

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David Pitt, MD

Associate Professor of Neurology

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Sharon Stoll, DO

Instructor

Instructor, Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine

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Sarah Flanagan Wesley, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Neurology

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Fellows

Ancillary

Andrea Bartels

Staff Affiliate - YNHH

APRN -Subspeciality in Neurology

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Kristi Dondlinger, RN

Registered Nurse Neurology

Multiple Sclerosis Nurse, North Haven location

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Lyanna Luu, RN

Multiple Sclerosis Nurse, Stamford location

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Researchers

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Kevin C O'Connor, PhD

Associate Professor of Neurology

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Multiple Sclerosis Research

The Multiple Sclerosis Center is currently recruiting for the following studies:

Investigator Initiated Studies

  • Effects of dietary salt intake on multiple sclerosis
  • Examining how taking Tecfidera for MS affects hidden inflammation as measured by iron-sensitive MRI
  • A longitudinal cohort tracking clinical outcomes for persons with MS, beginning at the time of diagnosis
  • A study of how the gut microbiome changes in persons with MS and in response to MS medications

Industry Sponsored Clinical Trials:

  • Study of ocrelizumab in patients <65 years old with primary or secondary progressive MS (Opening Soon!)
  • Randomized, placebo controlled trial of MEDI-551 (inebilizumab) for highly active neuromyelitis optica (Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier NCT02200770)
  • Study of how ocrelizumab changes immune cells in the spinal fluid (Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier NCT02688985)
  • Study of high dose biotin for progressive MS (Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier NCT02936037) (Closed to enrollment)

Please contact Sheila Florin (MSresearch@yale.edu) for additional information.

The Chairman of the Yale Department of Neurology is world-renowned Professor David A. Hafler, MD. Dr. Hafler’s research has greatly advanced the understanding of the function of the immune system in MS, of the relationship of MS to other autoimmune diseases, and the genetic underpinnings of MS in relation to autoimmune diseases. Researchers in Dr. Hafler’s lab are exploring the role of dietary salt and body fat in multiple sclerosis, exploring the gut microbiome in multiple sclerosis, and performing cutting edge research about MS genetics. Newly diagnosed MS patients are invited to contribute to this research by donating blood, stool, fat tissue, and/or spinal fluid. 

For more information about Dr. Hafler's work, see his laboratory website.

One root cause for MS-related disability is neurodegeneration, yet the cause for this neurodegeneration is not well understood. Dr. David Pitt’s research is aimed at better understanding this phenomenon. His lab is studying the impact of genetic risk factors on inflammation and neurodegeneration in the brain and spinal cord. 

For more information about Dr. Pitt’s work, see his laboratory website

While it has become clear that B-cells play an important role in MS, many of the details regarding exactly how they contribute remain to be discovered. Dr. Kevin O’Connor’s laboratory works to define the mechanisms by which B-cells, and the antibodies they produce, cause tissue damage in MS, neuromyelitis optica (NMO) and other autoimmune diseases. 

For more information about Dr. O’Connor’s work, see his laboratory website.

Patient Information

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The Yale Multiple Sclerosis Center in North Haven offers one-stop medical care for patients suffering from this chronic nervous system disease that causes symptoms ranging from numbness in the limbs to paralysis.