When Dr. Peter Degenhardt started his private practice in 2008, he said he expected his patients to have no more than five years left on their lives.
He was wrong.
His patients are now living for decades longer than he imagined.
With personalized medicine, doctors are able to tailor a treatment to their unique set of needs and preferences.
Dr. Degenhart says it is now possible for people with multiple sclerosis and other chronic diseases to have a personalized treatment.
The benefits can extend beyond just treating the symptoms of the disease.
“If we can make a treatment work for someone who has multiple sclerosis, we can use that to treat others with MS, too,” said Dr. DeGenhardt, who has treated thousands of people with MS.
“If it works for one patient, it will work for another.”
A growing number of physicians are taking a more holistic approach to treating their patients.
The Mayo Clinic’s Dr. James A. M. Hirsch is the first to prescribe the therapy as a part of his practice.
He said it is possible to find people with chronic conditions that have no known cause or treatments that work for some but not others.
He said he has seen many patients who had severe brain trauma, a form of Parkinson’s disease.
Maintaining an appropriate balance of care is important, he added.
“When you look at the disease and its effects, it is impossible to predict what you’re going to be able to do.
So I think a holistic approach is really the way to go.”
In the meantime, many people are still struggling with symptoms that seem to affect the entire body.
Dr. Hausfeld said she sees many patients with “no apparent brain damage” or any other symptoms that would indicate an underlying condition.
“We’re seeing the symptoms as symptoms,” she said.
“The patients are going to have this constant state of discomfort.”
While some people can’t tolerate medications, some can tolerate medications that are effective.
Dr Hausfield says patients who have a good response to medication have no problem tolerating them for a while.
“A lot of patients are able [to] tolerate the medications and move on,” she added.
Dr. Hsu, the Harvard-trained dermatologist, said that some people with skin problems may not respond to the treatment, while others may develop the symptoms.
He noted that patients who respond well to medications might be able “to go from a high to a low level of inflammation.”
“We do see people with all these skin conditions,” Dr. Dray said.
In addition to a higher prevalence of autoimmune diseases in patients with MS and other autoimmune disorders, there is evidence that the number of new patients with chronic diseases in the United States has increased.
A study published last month in the journal Neurology found that the rate of new cases of non-inflammatory conditions among adults with MS has doubled in the past decade.
At the same time, the number and severity of new infections has dropped.
And the incidence of serious complications, including amputations and heart attacks, has dropped significantly, the study found.
However, Dr. Auerbach, who specializes in the care of people who have MS, said it’s not clear that people with other chronic conditions are immune to these treatments.
If you’re not immune to one or more of these treatments, you’re likely to have an even greater number of complications, he noted.
So while it’s important to get the right medicine, Dr Auerberg said, the goal should not be to stop using any given medicine or treatment.
He added that many doctors and patients are choosing to go the extra mile to give patients the best possible outcome.
People with MS need personalized care to survive and thrive, he suggested.
But if you are unsure about a particular medicine, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor.
“Ask a lot of questions,” Dr Aueberg advised.