Multiple Sclerosis: The Role of Primary Care in Early Diagnosis and Patient-centered Management

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease of the central nervous system. It affects approximately 1 million people in the US and is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50 years, largely in women. MS causes a variety of motor and nonmotor symptoms and can have devastating effects on productivity and quality of life. This program will review the signs and symptoms of MS to best facilitate early referral for comprehensive neurologic work-up and initiation of disease-modifying therapy (DMT). It will also discuss the primary care clinician’s role in coordinating care, counseling on DMT adherence, and managing the comorbidities of MS.
Mary Knudtson, DNSc, NP, FAAN
Claire Riley, MD
Released: January 24, 2020

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:
  • Evaluate patients for signs and symptoms of MS or of relapse to facilitate prompt referral to specialist care
  • Identify available therapies for treatment of MS and factors to consider in their use in individual patients
  • Apply strategies to address adherence challenges and the long-term monitoring of overall wellness in patients with MS

Information on this Educational Activity


Claire Riley, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurology
Columbia Irving Medical Center
Medical Director
Columbia University Multiple Sclerosis Center
New York, New York

Dr Riley: advisory board: EMD Serono, Genentech, Genzyme; speaker: Biogen.
Mary Knudtson, DNSc, NP, FAAN
Associate Vice Chancellor
Student Health and Wellness
Executive Director
Student Health Services
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California
Professor of Clinical Nursing
University of California, Irvine
Irvine Irvine, California


Dr Knudtson has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Target Audience

NPs and PAs

Program Medium

This program has been made available online.

Provided by Continuing Nursing Education Provider Unit, Boston University School of Medicine

Boston University School of Medicine
Continuing Medical Education
72 East Concord Street, A402
Boston, Massachusetts 02118

(617) 638-4605
(617) 638-4905 (Fax)

This activity is supported by an educational grant from
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

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