September 28, 2003
News 24 Houston
Getting around can be difficult for patients with multiple sclerosis.
"The effects, clinically, can be anything from weakness to numbness to loss of vision, problems with coordination, memory problems," Dr. George Hutton, assistant director of the Maxine Mesinger Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, says.
Doctors say as the disease progresses, patients recover less and less from every relapse.
That eventually leaves many disabled or completely unable to function.
"Just in the state of Texas, we believe there are about 20,000 people affected by the disease. That means a prevalence of 100 people per each 100,000 population. That's a very, very high incidence," Dr. Victor Rivera, medical director at the clinic, says.
The Baylor College of Medicine and the Methodist Hospital took all of this into consideration when they built the Maxine Mesinger Multiple Sclerosis Clinic in the Texas Medical Center.
They say the clinic is a joint effort that focuses on clinical care, research and patient outreach.
The facility is designed to be both functional and comfortable for patients with unique needs.
"Everything was put together from the input of patients, so they contributed to the design of the clinic," Dr. Rivera says.
The clinic offers many services under one roof.
Patients can see a variety of specialists, medical staff and social workers at the clinic.
They can access research studies conducted at Baylor and Methodist Hospital and participate in clinical trials.
"The future holds a lot of promise," Dr. Hutton says. "There's a lot of trials on going and new molecules being looked at."
But until the future produces a cure for this disabiling disease, the Maxine Mesinger Multiple Sclerosis Clinic will be there.
Officials at Methodist Hospital say Mesinger educated the public about the importance of finding a cure for M.S.
They say the work done by the clinic will continue Mesinger's legacy.
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