Randall T. Schapiro, MD, FAAN
President, The Schapiro MS Advisory Group
…on symptom management
“Life with MS has certainly evolved over the past two decades. MS remains a mysterious disease that clearly has an effect on the brain and spinal cord. It is caused by an attack of the immune system, initiated by some unknown stimulus. Its complexity involves genetics and potentially some unidentified infectious agent. We have learned a number of details surrounding these issues, but the heart of the matter remains unknown.
“What is known is that the attack results in multiple symptoms – involving mobility, cognition, activities of daily living, and simply living productively in society. Newer medicines have begun to mitigate disease progression to some extent, but the associated symptoms and psychological issues remain a major problem for individuals with MS, family, and friends.
“Symptomatic management is the backbone of MS management. Refinements in mobility devices, the ability to manage bladder and bowel incontinence, pain management, and the treatment of other MS symptoms, have dramatically improved over the past two decades. Treatments combine pharmaceutical, physical, occupational, and speech therapies with psychological management approaches. The immediate goal is an improved quality of life, with the ultimate goal of curing the disease. Inevitably, we will succeed in our quest to improve life for individuals with MS!”
Dr. Randall (Randy) T. Schapiro grew up in Minnesota and received degrees there as well as in California. He founded the first private-practice comprehensive MS Center in 1977, renamed “The Schapiro Center for Multiple Sclerosis” at the Minneapolis Clinic of Neurology in 2004. Dr. Schapiro has participated in numerous research studies, helped to develop two MS organizations, served on numerous boards and advisory committees, and lectured and written extensively on all topics associated with MS management, both nationally and internationally. His awards include the Can Do Award, the prestigious Starfish Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award by the CMSC, and has been elected to the NMSS Hall of Fame.