University Eye Institute at UH sees start of multiple sclerosis eye care center

HOUSTON, March 1, 2006 The University of Houston, University Eye Institute and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society are partnering to open a new clinic to evaluate the eyes of patients with multiple sclerosis and those who are multiple sclerosis suspects.

A joint press conference will announce the opening of the Multiple Sclerosis Eye Center for Analysis, Research and Education (MS Eye CARE) at 11:30 a.m., Monday, March 6.

Located in the University Eye Institute on the UH campus, the new center is currently the only one of its kind where the MS Society has affiliated directly with an eye institute. Now a formal affiliate of the National MS Society, this center is dedicated to the eye care of adults and children with MS and patients who are MS suspects.

"What differentiates us from other MS centers is our focus on recognizing and studying the very early visual and eye movement findings as they relate to MS," said Jade S. Schiffman, M.D., the facility's medical director. "Early signs of MS are easily overlooked. A goal of MS Eye CARE is to help health care professionals recognize the early eye manifestations suggestive of MS and to serve as a referral center for MS prospects. This is especially important for eye care professionals, who are often the first health care professionals to see MS patients, since in almost half of the cases the initial symptoms often involve the eyes."

Dr. Schiffman is an associate professor at UH and a member of the Methodist Neurological Institute in the Texas Medical Center. She is board certified in both neurology and ophthalmology and has subspecialty training in neuro-ophthalmology. She has been recognized in the Best Doctors in America for the past 12 years. The center's research director is Laura Frishman, the associate dean for graduate studies and research for UH's College of Optometry and an internationally recognized expert in the visual system. Both work together with Ph.D.s in

Contact: Lisa Merkl
University of Houston

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