Multiple Sclerosis Identification & Management: Primary Care

Estimated Time for Completion: 120 minutes

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system—tissues of the brain and spinal cord—and the optic nerve. MS’s autoimmune aspect occurs when elements of a patient’s immune system cross the blood-brain barrier, leading to inflammation and destruction of the myelin sheath that coats nerve cells and facilitates transmission of nerve impulses between the brain and other parts of the body. When the myelin sheath is damaged or destroyed—as in MS—nerve impulses can no longer be transmitted normally. This drives the symptoms and disabling features of MS.

The true prevalence of MS is unknown, but there are an estimated 470,000 to 1 million cases in the US.  Like many autoimmune diseases, MS occurs more frequently in women than in men; some estimates suggest that women are three times at risk as men are. Most people are diagnosed with MS between the 20 and 50 years of age, but the disease process begins many years before a formal diagnosis.

Primary care clinicians are on the front lines of managing many aspects of MS patients’ health, and it is critically important to ensure that these clinicians are prepared for the many associated challenges such as diagnosing, prescribing appropriate DMTs and managing symptoms, flares and comorbidities. Primary care clinicians must also facilitate access to ancillary services and ensure that MS care is coordinated across many providers and care settings.

This on-demand course will provide primary care clinicians with the education they need to identify MS symptoms early in the disease course, to understand the role of DMTs, to optimize management of MS symptoms and flares and to facilitate timely referrals and care coordination.

This program is supported by an independent educational grant from Novartis.

Target Audience

This education program is geared toward members of interdisciplinary health care teams (physicians, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers and others) practicing in primary care settings.

Learning Objectives

After successful completion of this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Recognize the health and economic impact of MS at the national level.
  • Discuss screening guidelines, understand MS risk factors and identify symptoms of the prodromal phase of MS.
  • Distinguish between DMT options as a first-line treatment for MS.
  • Identify whole-patient management opportunities for primary care clinicians regarding MS exacerbations, symptoms, comorbidities and pain management.
  • Reduce barriers to care coordination, referrals to specialists and community resources.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 AAPA
  • 1.50 ACPE
  • 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.50 ANCC
  • 1.50 APA
  • 1.50 ASWB
  • 1.50 IPCE
  • 1.00 Participation
  • 2.00 PCMH CCE
Course opens: 
10/25/2021
Course expires: 
12/08/2023

Jennifer Graves, MD, PhDJennifer Graves, MD, PhD

Jennifer Graves, MD, PhD, is a board-certified neurologist who treats adults and children. She partners with patients, families and the multiple sclerosis clinical team to provide comprehensive care for people of all ages. Specialty care tracks are offered for children and pregnant women with multiple sclerosis.

She has special training in demyelinating diseases, which are autoimmune disorders of the nervous system that include multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica, a central nervous system disorder that primarily affects the eye nerves and the spinal cord. She also has expertise in neuro-ophthalmic disorders, or visual disorders related to the nervous system.

An associate professor of in the Department of Neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine, Dr. Graves serves as director of the UC San Diego Neuro-immunology Research Program. Her current research focuses on genetic, environmental and sex-related risk factors driving clinical outcomes in multiple sclerosis and optic neuritis. She also studies how age affects patients' experience of multiple sclerosis.

Her research includes the development of next-generation digital tools to assess neurological patients, leveraging sensors developed in the computer control industry as well as novel applications in mobile technology. She is a collaborator in several national and international research efforts in multiple sclerosis and participates in multi-center clinical trials.

Prior to joining UC San Diego Health, Dr. Graves was an assistant professor the Departments of Neurology and Ophthalmology at UCSF.

Dr. Graves completed a fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology and residency in neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She earned her medical degree and doctoral degree in molecular biophysics from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. She also holds a master's degree in epidemiology and biostatistics from UC San Francisco. She is board certified in neurology.

She is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Academy of Neurology, the United States Network of Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Centers, and the American Neurological Association.

 

Bardia Nourbakhsh, MD, MASBardia Nourbakhsh, MD, MAS

Bardia Nourbakhsh, MD, is an assistant professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Nourbakhsh is board-certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He practices out of The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and is affiliated with Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. 

Dr. Nourbakhsh has an expertise in multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuroimmunology. 

Dr. Nourbakhsh earned his medical degree from Tehran University School of Medical Sciences and completed a residency in neurology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He studied epidemiology, study design and biostatistics, obtaining a Masters of Advanced Studies degree in clinical research from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, where he also completed a fellowship in MS and neuroimmunology.

In 2014, Dr. Nourbakhsh earned the American Brain Foundation Clinical Research Training Fellowship in MS, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Sylvia Lawry Clinical Research Fellowship, the Fred Baskin Young Investigator Award and the Teva Neuroscience Award for Academic Excellence. 

Dr. Nourbakhsh's research training focused on the design and execution of clinical trials and use of biomarkers in MS. His current research interests include the comparative effectiveness studies of symptomatic and disease-modifying therapies in MS, as well as identifying new pathophysiologic mechanisms and therapeutic targets for MS-related fatigue. Dr. Nourbakhsh is the principal investigator of a two-center, randomized, double-blind crossover clinical trial funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, which focuses on commonly used fatigue medications for MS. He has contributed to numerous publications, journal articles, abstracts and posters, and lectures. He is an ad hoc reviewer for Annals of NeurologyJournal of Neurological SciencesNeurology: Neuroimmunology and NeuroinflammationJAMA NeurologyFrontiers Molecular Biosciences and other journals. 

 

Anna Shah, MDAnna Shah, MD

Dr. Anna Shah was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She attended the University of Missouri - Kansas City for both undergrad and medical school. She went on to complete Neurology residency at the University of Michigan, where she served as chief resident in her final year. She completed her fellowship in multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology at the University of Colorado and has decided to stay on as a clinical attending. She sees patients with Multiple Sclerosis and other related disorders of the nervous system. Dr. Shah is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

 

 

 

Faculty Disclosures

Dr. Jennifer Graves, faculty for this educational event, has received grant and research support from Biogen, Octave, and EMD Serono, and is on the speaker's bureau for Bristol-Myers Squibb and Alexion. 

Dr. Bardia Nourbakhsh, faculty for this educational event, has received grant and research support from Genentech and GlaxoSmithKline, and is a consultant for Jazz Pharmaceuticals. 

Dr. Anna Shah, faculty for this educational event, is a consultant for Novartis and Genentech. 

Zach Baldwin, planner for this educational event, has no relevant financial relationship(s) with ineligible companies to disclose.

All of the relevant financial relationships listed for these individuals have been mitigated.

In support of improving patient care, the National Committee for Quality Assurance is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the American Psychological Association (APA), and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) to provide Interprofessional Continuing Education for the healthcare team. 

This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 1.5 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit for learning and change. 

This educational activity is approved for: 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM, ANA CNE, APA, ACPE and ASWB ACE.

The assigned universal program number: JA0004597-0000-21-020-L04-P. Upon successful completion of this program (attending the full session and completing a program evaluation), participants will access CPE Monitor on the ACPE website to locate and track their CPE statement of credit.

This program grants 2.0 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) points for PCMH Certified Content Experts.  This program is not considered a required CCE quarterly webinar.

* Please note – You must attend the entire program to be eligible for total number of contact hours. 

Available Credit

  • 1.50 AAPA
  • 1.50 ACPE
  • 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.50 ANCC
  • 1.50 APA
  • 1.50 ASWB
  • 1.50 IPCE
  • 1.00 Participation
  • 2.00 PCMH CCE
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