NEUROLOGY & SLEEP SPECIALISTS LOCATED IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA, VA, LORTON, VA, & FALLS CHURCH, VA

Integrated Neurology Services

Neurology & Sleep Specialists Located in Northern Virginia, Alexandria, VA, Lorton, VA, & Falls Church, VA

Researchers have identified more than 80 autoimmune disorders, which affect more than 24 million Americans. Autoimmune disorders affect any body system and can cause a variety of symptoms, which can make getting an accurate diagnosis difficult. The board-certified neurologists at Integrated Neurology Services, with four clinics located in four Northern Virginia locations in Alexandria, Falls Church, and Lorton, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune disorders. To get answers to your health questions, contact the office by phone or online today.

Autoimmune Disorders Q & A

What are autoimmune disorders?

Autoimmune disorders refer to diseases in which your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells, tissues, or organs in your body. Normally, your immune system protects your body from harmful substances by producing antibodies that attack and destroy them. With an autoimmune disorder, your immune system can’t distinguish healthy tissue from harmful substances, so the immune system attacks the healthy cells. 

There are more than 80 autoimmune disorders, including:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Graves disease
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

An autoimmune disorder may affect any organ or body system, such as your muscles, joints, or skin. 

Researchers are still investigating what causes the development of autoimmune disorders but theorize it may be a genetic trait that gets triggered by a germ or medication. 

What are symptoms of autoimmune disorders?

Autoimmune disorder symptoms vary depending on the condition and the organs or body systems affected. Common autoimmune disorder symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Malaise

The neurology team at Integrated Neurology Services commonly treats myasthenia gravis, which is a neuromuscular autoimmune disorder that causes weakness in the voluntary skeletal muscles. Symptoms may include drooping eyelids, facial paralysis, problems walking upstairs, and trouble talking. 

How are autoimmune disorders diagnosed?

Autoimmune disorders can be difficult to diagnose due to the many types and variations in symptoms. The experienced team at Integrated Neurology Services conducts comprehensive evaluations to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. During your exam, your provider reviews your symptoms, medical history, and family history, then performs a physical.

To confirm or rule out an autoimmune disorder, the team may request diagnostic tests such as blood work and a urinalysis. To diagnose myasthenia gravis, the team also conducts electromyography/nerve conduction velocity (EMG/NCV) studies.

How are autoimmune disorders treated?

Treatment for autoimmune disorders may depend on the type, the severity of your symptoms, and your overall health. Treatment may include physical therapy, nutritional supplements, immunosuppressants, and/or corticosteroids. 

Integrated Neurology Services also offers infusion therapy at their infusion center, which provides intravenous medications for the treatment of various autoimmune disorders, including:

  • Tysabri®, Ocrevus®, solumedrol for multiple sclerosis
  • Soliris®, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) for myasthenia gravis
  • Benlysta® for systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Orencia®, Simponi Aria® for rheumatoid arthritis
  • Orencia, Simponi Aria, Stelara® for psoriatic arthritis

Infusion medications at Integrated Neurology Services are administered by a certified intravenous nurse under the supervision of the neurology team.

For comprehensive care from an experienced team, contact Integrated Neurology Services by phone or online today.   

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