Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Care at the MS Institute
At the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute, we understand the unique challenges of living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and the importance of specialized rehabilitation in enhancing your quality of life.
Our comprehensive range of MS services are designed to address the diverse needs of individuals with MS, with a strong focus on promoting mobility, function, and overall well-being.
Led by our expert team of healthcare professionals and supported by state-of-the-art facilities, we are committed to guiding you on your rehabilitation journey while helping to optimize your full potential.
Our Approach to Treating Multiple Sclerosis at the Andrew C. Carlos MS Institute
Our multiple sclerosis care options encompass a variety of approaches, including medications, physical rehabilitation (including strength training and energy conservation), and experimental therapies. We also provide various supplementary support services tailored to individuals with MS, including educational programs, wellness programs, recreation therapy, and more.
Appointments and Referrals to the Andrew C. Carlos MS Institute
It can feel overwhelming to deal with multiple sclerosis, and we want to help you feel like you have control over your life. Whether you are a new patient, an existing patient, or a referring provider, our team will work with you to develop your personalized care plan.
A Team Approach to Your Care
Our approach to care is as unique as you are. There is no one-size-fits-all diagnosis or treatment. We get to know you, and you get to know us – all of us, starting with your care team: a specialized, interdisciplinary group of highly trained, certified, and experienced professionals who take time to listen, diagnose, and design a tailored evidence-based treatment plan just for you. And all of this happens in a safe, caring, and welcoming environment. We believe our patients can do amazing things, and this is what we’ll strive for with you.
Learn more about Shepherd Center's innovative approach to treating and managing multiple sclerosis at the Andrew C. Carlos MS Institute.
Shepherd Center is like a warm hug. It’s unlike any other place to get care for MS. They make it possible for you to accomplish things you wouldn’t think were possible. Getting treatment there has made all the difference in the world.Stephanie AndersonPatientAndrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute
Multiple Sclerosis Research and Clinic Trials at Shepherd Center
Shepherd Center engages in research to improve clinical outcomes and the quality of life for individuals with MS. We have a dedicated research team at the Eula C. and Andrew C. Carlos Rehabilitation and Wellness Program. The researchers study the effects of rehabilitation and exercise for people with MS. Studies are also conducted to address vocation and quality of life.
At the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute, our multiple sclerosis care options encompass a variety of approaches, including medications, physical rehabilitation (including strength training and energy conservation), and experimental therapies. We also provide various supplementary support services tailored to individuals with MS, including educational programs, wellness programs, recreation therapy, and more.
The Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute at Shepherd Center is one of the country’s most renowned care and treatment centers for multiple sclerosis.
As a patient at the MS Institute, you have a specialized, interdisciplinary care team of highly trained, certified, and experienced multiple sclerosis specialists who collaborate to design a tailored, evidence-based treatment plan based on your symptoms and goals.
With specialists and care services housed in a single clinic, we can focus on what’s best for the patient while making it easy to communicate care quickly, make referrals, and adjust treatments as needed.
This comprehensive and holistic approach helps to promote mobility, function, and overall well-being.
Yes, we work closely with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) – Georgia Chapter and offer community education sessions, aquatics classes, and other programs sponsored by the NMSS – Georgia Chapter.
When you’re a patient at Shepherd Center, you have an entire team of multiple sclerosis specialists behind you. This team includes neurologists, case managers, therapists, nurses, technicians, dieticians, and other professionals.
Our neurologists are active members of professional organizations, including the National Consortium of MS Institutes. They have extensive experience in the management of multiple sclerosis. Together, they provide care to many people with MS throughout the southeast.
All professionals working in the MS Institute have specialized training and experience in treating MS.
Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
We are closed during most national holidays.
A relapse is defined as a new or worsened neurological symptom lasting at least 48 hours. There should not be an underlying fever or infection, as these may worsen symptoms.
MS attacks (relapses) are unexpected and can alter your ability to participate in some activities. Although attacks should be reported to your neurologist for documentation and possible treatment, they are not considered medical emergencies.
In very rare cases, an attack can cause difficulty breathing or the inability to empty the bladder. These cases are considered emergencies – go to the nearest emergency room. If you do not have transportation or are having difficulty breathing, call 911 or your county's emergency ambulance number.
The MS Institute has a nurse assigned to answer your phone calls Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET at 404-603-5031. Calls received after 4:00 p.m. ET will be returned the next business day. If you are having an emergency, please call 911 or go to your local emergency room.
Please note that calls made in the afternoon may be returned in the early evening. When the Center is closed, a neurologist is on call for neurological problems that cannot wait until office hours.
If you suspect a bladder infection, call your family doctor or primary care physician (PCP). Many people with MS have problems emptying their bladder. This can lead to bladder infections. The symptoms of a bladder infection are fever, blood in urine, pain, or burning when urinating or catheterizing.
A test must be done on your urine to treat a bladder infection. This test is called a culture and sensitivity (C&S) and will show the doctor which medicine will work best on your infection.
An untreated bladder infection can lead to high fevers (101 or above), vomiting, and worsening of MS symptoms. If you have a high fever and/or severe vomiting, go to your family doctor/PCP or the nearest emergency room.
It's hard to find a more comprehensive list of neurological and rehabilitative services than those offered at Shepherd Center. Patients receive state-of-the-art medical care from our neurologists inside one of the nation's leading rehabilitation hospitals. These services include:
- Aquatics classes
- Clinical research opportunities
- Neuropsychological services
- Nursing care: medical and rehabilitation
- Occupational therapy
- Pain management (Shepherd Pain Institute)
- Patient and family educational counseling
- Physical fitness program
- Physical therapy
- Recreation therapy
- Rehabilitation day program
- Seating clinic
- Speech therapy
- Social work/case management
- Urology clinic
- Vocational counseling
During your appointment, you will be evaluated by a neurologist and/or MS nurse — individuals who are experienced in MS treatment and rehabilitation. They will recommend only the services that will benefit you. Following this evaluation, you and your treatment team will design a customized plan that allows for maximum results at minimum cost. It is important to share with your treatment planning team any physical or emotional concerns that you have. You should always feel free to request services and make suggestions.
Shepherd Center does not offer a custodial nursing or maintenance care program. We provide outpatient and inpatient treatment to increase individual independence and safety on a specific goal-oriented basis.
The Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute welcomes the opportunity to coordinate care with your current physician.
We recommend that all Shepherd Center patients have a family doctor or primary care physician close to their home for easy access and routine medical care.
A family doctor/primary care physician can check and treat your general health problems, such as weight control, colds, flu, skin rashes, bladder infections, and other infections.
Your family doctor/primary care physician can also oversee your general medical care and provide referrals to specialists as needed. Many insurance plans require that you have a primary care physician. Please read and understand your insurance benefits carefully.
Many of our patients live outside the Atlanta area. Usually, we can set up treatment closer to your home for infusions, therapy, etc. (this may depend on your insurance coverage). Having a good relationship with a local family doctor/primary care physician or neurologist is beneficial in coordinating care outside of Georgia.
Shepherd Center can perform a urine culture and sensitivity if your doctor has given a written order for this test. Call your family doctor/PCP or urologist if you suspect a bladder infection.
If you do not have a family doctor/PCP or urologist, call the MS Institute at 404-352-2020 and ask for the nurse. The nurse will determine if your symptoms require a urine specimen.
If an order is given by your neurologist or family doctor/PCP for the test, please schedule an appointment for the urine test by calling the scheduler at 404-352-2020.
We encourage patients with indwelling Foley or suprapubic to have a family member or significant other trained to change and maintain the catheter. If this is not possible, your physician may recommend home health services to change the Foley or suprapubic in the home.
The frequency of these tube changes is very different among patients. Some patients may need changes every 2-4 months, and others require a monthly change. Please keep an extra catheter at home if the tube becomes plugged and must be changed.
We are happy to perform your lab work, but your insurance plan may have restrictions regarding where you are authorized to go. Please remember to check with your insurance regarding the preferred laboratory site before having any lab work done. This is important so that your insurance pays for the testing.
If you have your lab work done at Shepherd Center, your physician will review these results. The nurse or physician will notify you if you have any abnormal results for your condition or if an action needs to be taken because of the results. You will not be called if results are normal or in range for your condition.
Call the MS Institute at 404-352-2020. Please follow the instructions on the recording. Refills requested before 2:00 p.m. ET will be called into your pharmacy the same day. Requests after 2:00 p.m. ET will be called in the next working day. Please check with your pharmacy before going to pick up your medication.
The physician will refill medication if:
- It is time for the next refill.
- The physician ordered the medication originally.
- You have been seen at Shepherd Center within the past 6-12 months.
- Special narcotic or high-risk medication monitoring is up to date. This can include lab work, follow-up visits, etc.
Do not let your medications run out. Calling in advance of need is required since some medications require a clinic visit, blood work, or insurance authorization.
Please call at least 1 to 2 months ahead if you are on Avonex, Betaseron, Rebif, or Copaxone because most insurance plans require special authorization forms or extensive medical record reviews. This process is called re-certification, and your insurance plan dictates it. Since Avonex, Betaseron, Rebif, and Copaxone should be taken long term, plan ahead and know your insurance company's re-certification requirements.
Shepherd physicians recommend that patients needing wheelchairs be evaluated in the Shepherd Center Seating Clinic, which is staffed by seating specialists. Call the nurse for a referral and prescription from your physician for an evaluation in this clinic. Then, schedule an appointment by calling the Seating Clinic at 404-350-7760.
Bring any forms that the physician needs to complete to your scheduled visit. Please allow at least four weeks before the date the papers requested are needed.
Yes, we would love to see you, your friends and family. Learn more about how to request an appointment.
Yes. To be eligible for services at the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute, a provider referral form must be completed and submitted by a healthcare provider. To learn how to begin the referral process, please call our New Patient Coordinator at 404-603-4962.
The Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute at Shepherd Center requires a referral for all new patients from a healthcare provider. This allows us to streamline care for those in need of our services. Learn more about how to request an appointment.
To be eligible for services at the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute, your provider must complete our provider referral form. To learn how to begin the referral process, please call our New Patient Coordinator at 404-603-4962.
Your first appointment will include an initial evaluation to discuss your symptoms with your specialist. Once your evaluation is complete, our team will work with you to develop a personalized care plan, which may include disease-modifying medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, wellness programs, and more.
For your first evaluation appointment, please also bring with you the following:
- Driver's license or photo ID
- Insurance card(s)
We want to make the most of your visit here just as much as you do. Here are some tips on what to do before your first evaluation.
- List questions and topics you'd like to discuss with your care team.
- List of injuries you’ve had.
- Document the symptoms you are experiencing and for how long.
- Bring a care partner who can act as a second set of ears, take notes and prompt you if you forget anything.
- Ask for clarity on anything you don't understand. Medical terms can be daunting, and we want you to feel confident while you're here and after you leave.
Absolutely. It is very helpful if a caregiver or health advocate accompanies you to your appointment to help take notes, ask questions, and provide emotional support.
It is very important that you attend all scheduled appointments. Availability in the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute is limited, and a missed appointment can impact timely medical refills.
While we understand that emergencies and other unexpected situations do arise, the MS Institute requests that you provide us with 24-hour notice in the event you are unable to make an appointment and need to reschedule.
It is very important that you attend all scheduled appointments.
We have a strict five-minute grace period. If patients arrive more than five minutes after their appointment, we will reschedule the appointment to a later date. Sometimes we have availability on the same day, but schedules are limited, and canceling appointments can impact timely medication refills.
We accept most major health plans, including traditional insurance, managed care plans, Medicare, and Georgia Medicaid. We encourage you to confirm that your health plan covers specialist services before making an appointment.
Please call our Financial Services Department at 404-350-7320 Monday through Friday to ask questions about your statement.
The Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute is conveniently located on the main campus of Shepherd Center in Buckhead Atlanta, next to Piedmont Hospital. We are easily accessible from Interstates 75/85 and just 16 miles from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
MS Medical Clinic
If you are arriving for an appointment with a MS medical provider or a MS infusion, you will check in at the MS Institute on the first floor of the main Shepherd building. Upon entering Shepherd Center via the visitor’s parking bridge, you’ll continue down the hall. The MS Institute is on the left, just past the elevators and across from the Security Desk.
Eula C. and Andrew C. Carlos Rehabilitation and Wellness Program
If you are arriving for our rehabilitation or wellness services, you will check in at the MS Rehabilitation and Wellness programs located on the plaza level for the Woodruff Family Residence Center.
Download Our Campus Map
Yes. Free and convenient covered parking is available for all patients in the Shepherd parking deck behind Shepherd Center.
Yes. ADA parking is available on all garage levels, with van-accessible spaces on the ground level. Direct access to the hospital is accessible by an elevator on each level of the parking deck.
Patients can also be picked up or dropped off adjacent to the Marcus-Woodruff Building Entrance. Transport chairs may be borrowed from our Security Desk if needed by visitors.
The Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute and Shepherd Center have partnered with several nearby hotels to offer discount room rates for patients and/or family members. Rates may be subject to room availability. Each hotel offers various services, including wheelchair-accessible guest rooms for persons with disabilities. Be sure to ask for the Shepherd Center Rate when contacting these hotels.
Multiple Sclerosis News and Patient Stories from Shepherd Center's Newsroom
Patient Story: Felicia Trammell
After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Felicia Trammell participated in a medical research study to find symptom relief and to empower herself and others.
The Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute at Shepherd Center
2020 Peachtree Road NW
Atlanta, GA 30309-1465
Clinic, Rehabilitation, and Wellness Hours
Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET