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New Drug Offers New Hope for Multiple Sclerosis Patients

OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital one of first Ohio hospitals to offer recently FDA-approved drug

OhioHealth Newsroom Lemtrada Shawn's Story

Imagine being an active teenager, a baseball player, and having your life practically stop - with the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. For Shawn Bollinger, he didn't have to imagine this, he's lived it.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune condition where your own immune system attacks parts of your brain and spinal cord. Shawn was diagnosed with MS as a teenager. Now, as a young adult, he's seen his life change, thanks to a new treatment, called alemtuzumab (brand name: Lemtrada).

The FDA approved Lemtrada in late 2014 for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of MS. The FDA recommends that Lemtrada be reserved for people who have had little relief with two or more MS therapies. Patients like Shawn.

OhioHealth has followed Shawn's journey over the past year, from his treatment of five infusions of Lemtrada over five days, to his follow up appointments with Dr. Aaron Boster, Shawn's OhioHealth neurologist and MS expert. Dr. Boster shares that Shawn is a patient at OhioHealth's multidisciplinary MS clinic, which is one of the only practices to provide comprehensive treatment, diagnostics and support services in one location.

Although this new MS drug has worked well for Shawn, Dr. Boster explains that the most important piece of developing a treatment plan is to match the right patient with the right MS drug. For Shawn, it was Lemtrada, for another patient, it might be something different. What is special about the OhioHealth Neuroscience Center, is that it includes a full spectrum of treatment options – even clinical trials. The goal is always to beat the disease, and at OhioHealth, no one ever stops trying.

Learn more about the MS program at OhioHealth.