The Multiple Sclerosis/Neuroimmunology section is focused on the diagnosis and treatment of patients who suffer immune-mediated damage to the central nervous system (CNS). While multiple sclerosis is the most common condition managed within the Neuroimmunology section, we have well-established programs in transverse myelitis (TM), including acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), optic neuritis, autoimmune encephalitis (AE), acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), anti-MOG antibody associated disease, and neurosarcoidosis.
The MS/Neuroimmunology clinical program was founded in 1994 and has grown to serve over 5,000 patients annually. We support clinical efforts at UT Southwestern, Parkland Hospital, Children's Health and the VA North Texas Health System. Our Multiple Sclerosis Center, Transverse Myelitis program and Neuromyelitis Optica program have been nationally recognized as comprehensive care centers by national advocacy organizations.
The MS/Neuroimmunology section is involved in basic science, translational and clinical research efforts. We have received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DOD), Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Siegel Rare Neuroimmune Association, and Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation for neuromylitis optica (NMO), among others.
Our faculty has been published in high-impact channels such as The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Brain, Nature Communications, Neurology, Annals of Neurology, and JAMA Neurology. The program has participated in dozens of clinical trials and is routinely involved in Phase 1, 2 and 3 trials.
Research Overview Videos
Since its inception, the MS/Neuroimmunology section has been committed to educational endeavors. To this end, we have hosted medical students, residents, fellows and visiting providers, and created and executed curriculum for improving knowledge of medical providers and scientists.
The MS/Neuroimmunology section is committed to providing comprehensive, compassionate, efficient, high-quality care to all our patients and their families. We are commonly consulted on cases seeking an accurate diagnosis, and the most common conditions we treat include:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Transverse Myelitis
- Acute Flaccid Myelitis
- Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD)
- Optic Neuritis
- Autoimmune Encephalitis
- Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM),
- Anti-MOG Antibody Associated Disease
The MS/Neuroimmunology section offers a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic services, including advanced MRI, optical coherence tomography, pupillometry, neuropsychology assessments, gait assessments, bloodwork, lumbar punctures (“spinal taps”), and neurological exams.
We collaborate with Neurosurgery to perform brain biopsies when indicated; we manage oral, injectable and infusible medications, and acutely work with Aphersis teams to offer both inpatient and outpatient plasma exchange. In collaboration with Urology and Physiatry, we offer bladder management services and rehabilitation programs.
Additionally, integrated into the MS/Neuroimmunology section is a counseling service that offers therapy, support and guidance to patients and families.
- The Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Clinic at James W. Aston Ambulatory Care Center
- Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Clinic at Children’s Health
- Transverse Myelitis Program at UT Southwestern
- The Neuromyelitis Optica Program at UT Southwestern
Benjamin M. Greenberg, M.D., MHS
- Kyle Blackburn, M.D.
- Lindsay Horton, M.D.
- Shanan Munoz, M.D.
- Darin Okuda, M.D.
- Peter Sguigna, M.D.
- Olaf Stuve, M.D., Ph.D.
- Lauren Tardo, M.D.
- Steven Vernino, M.D., Ph.D.
- Katherine Chapman, LCSW
The Greenberg lab is focused on acquiring specimens from research participants to use in biomarker discovery and validation. For each of the conditions we treat in clinic, we lack blood based diagnostics, prognostics, markers of disease activity and/or markers of response to therapy. These are critical unmet needs within neuroimmunology. The careful collection, processing and storage of samples from our patients allows for researchers to explore the biology of patients suffering from conditions instead of relying on artificial animal models. Through this work we have identified novel genetic, cellular and protein based markers that correlate with various diseases. We work collaboratively with researchers at UT Southwestern and throughout the world, sharing specimens and data in an effort to advance our understanding of these various conditions.
Nancy Monson, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized B-cell biologist and immunologist who has made major contributions to our understanding of multiple sclerosis. Her work has focused on advanced techniques to interrogate B-cell genetics and determine which cell populations are clinically relevant to multiple sclerosis. Dr. Monson has worked to understand the adaptive immune response in a variety of conditions including transverse myelitis, autoimmune encephalitis, neuromyelitis optica, and Alzheimer's disease.
For the past 15 years, the work of Olaf Stuve, M.D., Ph.D. has focused on cellular and molecular events that result in the breakdown of immune tolerance in patients with inflammatory disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). One major focus has been to study the effect of pharmacotherapies on adaptive immune responses in multiple sclerosis (MS) and autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE).
Steven Vernino, M.D., Ph.D. has a long interest in autoimmune neurological disorders, especially those associated with antibodies against cell membrane ion channels and receptors. His laboratory works on evaluating the role of novel autoantibodies specifically in disorders of the autonomic nervous system. Dr. Vernino is also involved in a number of clinical trials evaluating immune therapies for autonomic disorders and autoimmune encephalitis.
Peter Sguigna, M.D. lab's research interests and activities include advanced diagnostic imaging of neuro-ophthalmological disorders, as well as unraveling the neuro-retinal circuitry in neuroimmunological diseases. Dr. Sguigna actively works on better ways to distinguish these disorders using non-invasive technology. He uses specialized testing to gain insight into some of the most disabling symptoms for patients with multiple sclerosis. Lastly, he coordinates for clinical trials for better treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis.
The Okuda Neuroinnovation lab is involved in the advancement of improvised solutions and emerging innovations that improve the delivery of medical care provided to patients. Our mission is to design and develop innovative devices, software solutions, and combined unique methodologies that translate into discoveries for next generation care.