The Provider and Caregiver Connection: Multiple Sclerosis: A Treatment Paradigm Shift When “Time Is Brain”

This activity is supported by an educational grant from AbbVie, Celgene, and Sanofi Genzyme.

Faculty Presenters

James M. Stankiewicz, MD                         
Clinical Director
Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston, Massacheusetts
Lynn Stazzone RN, MSN, NP, MSCN
Nurse Practitioner
Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston, Massacheusetts
Penny Tenzer, M.D.
Professor of Clinical Family Medicine
Vice Chair of Academic Affairs
Medical Director, UHealth at Walgreens Clinics
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine

Michael Farrell
Patient with Multiple Sclerosis
Melissa Farrell
Patient Caregiver  

Activity Overview

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Common symptoms, including impaired mobility, loss of sensory function, cognitive decline, emotional stress, and changes in bladder function, can significantly reduce patients’ quality of life. MS is currently an incurable disease, but improved understanding of disease pathophysiology has contributed to the development of a range of disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) that can improve long-term clinical outcomes. The wide variety of available treatments also means that patients and providers can weigh the benefits and risks of each therapy as part of shared decision-making strategies. Educating patients about their disease is critical to build a foundation of knowledge that can aid in these shared decision-making discussions.
The primary goals of MS treatment are to slow disease progression, prevent relapses, manage symptoms, and improve patients’ health-related quality of life. MS progression and prognosis is highly variable, so individualized approaches to treatment are essential. Early, aggressive treatment and care provided by a comprehensive, patient-centered multidisciplinary team can optimize long-term clinical outcomes and maximize health-related quality of life.
This Provider and Caregiver Connection™ provides a two-fold activity.  First a patient with MS and their caregiver engage in a discussion with a neurologist and a nurse practitioner specializing in neurological rehabilitation. Topics in this straightforward, impactful discussion include initial diagnosis, importance of multidisciplinary team interaction and practical, proactive lifestyle adjustments and ways to overcome challenges. In the second part, a multidisciplinary team individually answers questions - from early, efficacious treatment, new and emerging disease modifying therapy (DMT) to treatment escalation, all with a patient-centered approach.

Target Audience

This CME activity is intended for neurologists, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners (NPs), nurses, and physician assistants (PAs) involved in the treatment and management of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Psychiatrists and other health care professionals interested in the treatment of MS may also participate.

Release Date:  April 30, 2018
Expiration Date: April 30, 2019 

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this CME activity, you should be better prepared to:
  • Describe the concept of neurological reserve and the impact of early, efficacious treatment
  • Identify appropriate patient resources to improve disease knowledge, symptom reporting and treatment options
  • Review the mechanisms of action (MOA)s and safety considerations for each disease modifying treatment (DMT)
  • Articulate considerations and timing when switching to a new treatment
  • Model a multidisciplinary treatment strategy to improve the management of patients with MS

Additional Resource

DMT Table

Accreditation/Credit Designation

Physicians' Education Resource®, LLC is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians, and is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (CBRN).
Physicians' Education Resource®, LLC designates this enduring material for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and for 2 contact hours for nurses. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 


The following contributors have financial information to disclose.

James M. Stankiewicz, MD
  • Consultant for Biogen idec, Bayer, EMD Serono, Novartis, Genzyme and Celgene
The following contributors have no financial information to disclose
Penny Tenzer, M.D.
Lynn Stazzone RN, MSN, NP, MSCN
Michael Farrell
Melissa Farrell
The staff of Physicians' Education Resource®, LLC have no relevant financial relationships with commercial interests.

Off-Label Disclosure/Disclaimer

This activity may or may not discuss investigational, unapproved, or off-label uses of drugs. Participants are advised to consult prescribing information for any products discussed. The information provided in this CME activity is for continuing medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to the diagnostic, treatment, and management options for a specific patient’s medical condition.
The opinions expressed in the content are solely those of the individual faculty members and do not reflect those of Physicians’ Education Resource®, LLC, or any of the companies that provided commercial support for this activity.
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