How a Cincinnati woman beat her multiple sclerosis symptoms

CINCINNATI -- "Getting diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, at first you feel your health is being taken from you," Kayla Schneider said Monday.

A newly FDA-approved drug tested at the University of Cincinnati is helping her take it back.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the body's natural defenses begin attacking its central nervous system, potentially causing a wide range of physical and mental symptoms that can cause lifelong disability and even death. 

For Schneider, those symptoms included pain behind her eyes and a partial loss of vision. She began researching her condition in hopes of locating a solution, which is when she learned about Ocrevus.

UC Health helped complete a study of the drug, which Dr. Aram Zabeti said is one of a wide variety of treatments available for people with multiple sclerosis.

"This is another tool to treat the patient," Zabeti said. "It's a wide spectrum of the disease in different patients; some patients don't respond to other meds, so this would be a good option."

Schneider gets an Ocrevus infusion once every six months, she said. It takes hours, but it's helped shrink the lesions on her brain that she and Zabeti believed were causing her vision loss.

Zabeti added no one solution to multiple sclerosis symptoms is effective for every patient, so it's important for people with multiple sclerosis to begin treatment early and take a proactive role in their own healthcare to avoid longterm disability.

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