VA Portland Health Care System
Multiple Sclerosis Care
About Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
MS is a complex neurologic disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS) which includes the brain, spinal cord, and vision pathways. In MS, the immune system attacks the myelin sheath, the fatty tissue that surrounds and protects nerve fibers, as well as the nerve fibers themselves. This damage is called demyelination and the scar tissues that develop when myelin is damaged are called sclerosis, also known as lesions or plaques.
When any part of the myelin sheath or nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed, nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord are distorted or interrupted, causing a wide variety of symptoms. Sometimes the myelin can repair itself and the MS symptoms go away after the immune attack, or relapse. However, over time, the myelin and underlying nerve fibers cannot recover and suffer permanent damage. This may lead to a decline in function depending on the disease course.
VA is committed to supporting Veterans with MS to live a full and productive life, offering a complete spectrum of health care services. The VA’s MS health care team is here to…
- help Veterans understand MS,
- work with Veterans to improve their overall health,
- explain Veterans medication options for treating and managing MS,
- introduce Veterans to specific strategies to help them manage their MS symptoms,
- support Veterans and their family, and
- help Veterans achieve their physical, psychological, vocational, and social goals.
VA Portland Health Care System’s (VAPORHCS’) MS health care team works with Veterans and their families to develop an individualized plan for managing Veterans' health. We encourage Veterans to learn as much as they can about MS and engage in their care.
The list below identifies some of the many MS-related services that may be available to Veterans with MS.
Adaptive Home Improvements
Home Health Aides
Independent Living Programs
Long-Term Care Centers
Prosthetics and Orthotics
MS Social Worker
Speech and Swallowing Therapy
VAPORHCS’ MS Clinic has been designated a Regional Program within the VA MS Centers of Excellence national network of MS Regional and MS Support Programs. All the neurologists in our MS Clinic are fellowship trained or are currently in a MS fellowship. Our MS Fellows go through one to two years of MS clinical training and are staffed by a seasoned MS neurologist.
Hours and Location
MS Clinic is held every Friday from around 8 a.m. to noon. MS Clinic is located at the Portland VA Medical Center, in building 104 (across from the main VA building), on the first floor, in the Specialty Care Clinic area.
Make an Appointment
To make an appointment, contact our VA Specialty Care Call Center at 503-220-8262, ext. 50820 to request an appointment.
If you are receiving care outside the VA, we will request your medical records for review. If you are having difficulty making an appointment, please contact our MS nurse at 503-220-8262, ext. 57014.
Resources for Veterans with MS
- VA Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence https://www.va.gov/MS/
- Veteran Newsletter https://www.va.gov/MS/Products/newsletters/index.asp
- MS and Me Veteran YouTube Videos https://www.va.gov/MS/Products/videos/YouTube_MS_and_ME.asp
- Overview of MS for Veterans Booklet https://www.va.gov/MS/products/overview_booklet/index.asp
- Portland VA Medical Center, in building 104, 1st floor, Specialty Care Clinic area
- 503-220-8262 Ext. 57014
Hours of Operation
- Friday Clinic, 8 a.m. - noon