The Penn State Health Approach to Neuroimmunology

Neuroimmunology focuses on the connections between your nervous system and your immune system and the ways in which those interactions affect your nervous system’s ability to function and respond. Neuroimmunological conditions occur when your immune system begins to attack itself. This process can damage your brain, spine, peripheral nerves and other tissues and can cause numerous health issues.

The Neuroimmunology specialists at Penn State Health understand the delicate balance that exists between your nervous system and your immune system. Our approach effectively blends the most advanced technology, techniques and treatment with compassion and empathy to provide comprehensive care for your complex neurological disorder.

Innovative, Leading-Edge Care

Your immune system is made up of cells, organs and substances that help protect your body from infection and disease. Your brain is separated from this process by the blood-brain barrier, which restricts the substances that enter your brain through your bloodstream and protects it from damage.

This protection is vital to your brain’s health because chemicals released by your immune cells are often toxic to your brain cells.

Neuroimmunological conditions occur when your immune system attacks itself and causes damage to your nerves, brain and other tissues. Symptoms vary from person to person, depending on your illness, and can last for only a few weeks or be present throughout your lifetime.

Symptoms of neuroimmunological disorders can include:

  • Vision problems
  • Speech problems
  • Muscle weakness
  • Memory issues
  • Mood changes
  • Changes in the ability to touch and feel

At Penn State Health, our experts provide detailed clinical evaluation and testing for several neuroimmunological disorders, including multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, neuromyelitis optica, neurosarcoidosis and paraneoplastic disorders.

Testing may include:

  • Blood tests
  • MRI, PET scans and other advanced imaging
  • Electromyography to gauge electrical activity produced by your muscles
  • EEGs, evoked potential studies and autonomic nervous system testing
  • Lumbar puncture to diagnose diseases of your central nervous system

We collaborate with specialists in associated fields like neurology, speech and physical therapy, psychology, social work, orthopedics and urology to develop a personalized care plan that provide solutions and strategies for your changing health needs.

Treatment may include:

  • Medication
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Lifestyle modifications like vitamins, diet, smoking cessation, exercise and stress management

Education about your illness is an important component of successful treatment. We work with you, your family and caregivers to ensure you understand every aspect of your condition and how to manage its impact on your life. We are your partners in your care.

Support Groups

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other patients and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

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Experts in Care

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Why Choose Penn State Health for Care

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a true leader in the field of neuroimmunology. We offer evidence-based solutions for complex neurological conditions that affect every aspect of your life.

We are a proven center of excellence with innovative treatments and strategies dedicated to maintaining your quality of life as long as possible.

Convenient Locations

Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.

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