Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis focuses on addressing physical, emotional, cognitive and rehabilitation needs of the MS patient and their family members through a team approach. Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis offers state-of-the-art resources to provide the most advanced specialized care, supported by an extensive program of research and education. The Mellen Center is one of the largest and most comprehensive programs for MS care and research worldwide, managing more than 20,000 patient visits every year. Basic and clinical research conducted at Cleveland Clinic sheds new light on MS every year.
Mellen Center physicians are national leaders in basic and clinical research related to MS pathogenesis and medical management and have made major contributions in the development of drugs to control MS disease activity and progression. The Mellen Center is the largest comprehensive program for MS care and research worldwide, managing more than 8,000 patients and more than 21,000 total visits every year. Basic and clinical research conducted at Cleveland Clinic sheds new light on MS every year, moving us ever closer to better treatments and hopefully, one day soon, a cure.
Program highlights for the Mellen Center include:
- clinical research
- Integration of neurorehabilitation with spasticity management through the use of baclofen pumps and Botox injections
- Standard and investigational imaging provided through the 3 Tesla MR imaging facility, staffed by an expert team
- Latest pharmaceutical therapies delivered in a comfortable 12-chair infusion center
Central to our philosophy is the importance of meeting your social and psychological needs, as well as your complex physical needs. At the Mellen Center, you will experience a supportive, welcoming atmosphere and receive assistance in managing the different aspects of MS so you will not feel overwhelmed.
If you have medical concerns beyond the immediate scope of the Mellen Center, you can benefit from the center's unique position as part of the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, where a complete range of specialists and state-of-the-art treatments ensure that you will receive care that meets all your needs at each of our locations which include: Main Campus, Hillcrest Hospital and Fairview Hospital in Ohio.
The team in Cleveland Clinic's Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis recognizes that whether you have been newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or have been living with multiple sclerosis for many years, you can be left with a lot of unanswered questions or overwhelmed by on-going management of the disorder. To help, we now offer two ways to quickly and conveniently see a multiple sclerosis specialist online using the Cleveland Clinic Express Care® Online tool.
- Informational assessment: Receive an informational assessment from the world’s leader in multiple sclerosis research and patient care, no physician referral required. Let our specialists answer your most pressing questions, provide personalized education and share insights into how we manage care for individuals with multiple sclerosis.
- Established patient appointment: Receive follow-up or on-going care directly from your MS team. Benefits of choosing this appointment option include no travel or parking, no facility fees, less waiting, significant time savings and the convenience of seeing a specialist from wherever you choose.
If you would like to use Express Care Online for your initial informational assessment or next established patient visit, please call the Mellen Center office in Cleveland, Ohio at 216.444.8600 or toll-free 866.588.2264, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. If you are eligible, our team will schedule your virtual visit and provide details on the visit cost and setup instructions.
What We Treat
Diseases & Conditions
- Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis
- Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis
- Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis
- Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis
- Transverse Myelitis
Related Diseases & Conditions
Diagnostics & Testing
Treatments & Services
- Alternative & Complimentary Therapies for MS
- Disease Modigying Agents
- Driver Rehabilitation Program
- Health Psychology & Multiple Sclerosis
- Infusion Center
- IV Steroids for Multiple Sclerosis
- Neurorehabilitation Services
- Occupational Therapy & Multiple Sclerosis
- Treating Spasticity with Botox
- Vocational Rehabilitation Services
The Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis offers comprehensive care for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
View our specialists below:
Appointments with Cleveland Clinic multiple sclerosis specialists are available in Cleveland, Ohio and Las Vegas, Nevada, no physician referral required. To make an appointment with a specialist please call the appointment line Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- Cleveland Clinic Mellen Center – Cleveland, Ohio: 216.444.8600 or 866.588.2264
- Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health – Las Vegas, Nevada: 702.483.6000
- For after-hours emergencies, please call 216.444.2200 and ask for the neurology resident on call
When you call, an appointment secretary may ask several questions to help you better plan the visit. A package of information will be mailed before the first appointment date. Our appointment secretaries will make every effort to schedule your appointment when it is convenient for you. If the situation is urgent, please let us know when you call so that you can be seen at the earliest possible date. Evaluations and/or treatments are scheduled on an outpatient basis and may require the entire day to complete. Additional appointments may be necessary to complete the final evaluation. These appointments can be conveniently scheduled for additional days or subsequent visits.
Please refer to Care at the Mellen Center to learn what to expect and how to prepare for an appointment for you or a loved one.
The team in Cleveland Clinic’s Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis recognizes that whether you have been newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or have been living with multiple sclerosis for many years, you can be left with a lot of unanswered questions or overwhelmed by on-going management of the disorder. To help, we now offer two ways to conveniently see a multiple sclerosis specialist online using the Cleveland Clinic Express Care® Online tool.
- Multiple Sclerosis Education: If you or a loved one suffers from multiple sclerosis meet with our nationally-renowned specialists for an virtual education visit, no physician referral required. Let our specialists answer your most pressing questions, provide personalized education and share insights into how we manage care for individuals with multiple sclerosis. If you would like to use Express Care Online for an educational visit, please sign in to or establish a login for Express Care Online. Once logged in navigate to “Multiple Sclerosis Education” and select the “Schedule” button where you will be able to schedule a visit that’s convenient for you.
- Established patient appointment: Receive follow-up or on-going care directly from your multiple sclerosis provider. Benefits of choosing this appointment option include no travel or parking, no facility fees, less waiting, significant time savings and the convenience of seeing a specialist from wherever you choose. If you would like to use Express Care Online for your established patient appointment, please call your provider’s office. If you are eligible, our team will schedule your virtual visit and provide details on the visit cost and setup instructions.
Follow-up Care eVisits
Cleveland Clinic’s Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis also offers specialty follow-up eVisits through MyChart, to our adult patients over the age of 18, as an alternative to in-person office visits.
The cost for this option is $35 per visit. Ask your Cleveland Clinic provider if eVisits are an option for you.
- If medication is prescribed, the prescription order will be sent directly to your preferred pharmacy. We are not able to prescribe controlled substances (such as opioids) through an eVisit.
- All communication between you and your provider during an eVisit is saved in your medical record just like an in-office visit.
View portions of your medical record, see test results, renew prescriptions, request appointments and more.
Multiple Sclerosis Performance Test
The Multiple Sclerosis Performance Test (MSPT) is a new feature from Cleveland Clinic for patients to enhance their current care and better establish trends in the management of their Multiple Sclerosis. The MSPT is an iPad-based assessment of neurological function that includes health status questionnaires, a 25-foot walking speed test, 9-hole peg manual dexterity test, plus new assessments of processing/thinking speed and visual function.
The results of the tests are immediately available to your provider for use at the time of your visit, so it is important to complete the testing prior to the visit with your care provider.
Please note, your visit to the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis will be structured as follows:
- 20 minutes with a Medical Assistant including vital signs, review medication list, standard nursing intake questions
- 30 minutes for MSPT
- 45 minute appointment with your care provider
Please arrive at the time noted on your appointment reminder or in MyChart, but know that your visit will consist of more than just the 45 minutes that you spend with your provider.
In MyChart reminders – the details about the appointment time will not reflect this new structure, but the arrival time is accurate. Other appointment reminders will detail the breakdown of the various appointments that now comprise your total visit at the Center. Completing health status questionnaires in advance of your visit from home via MyChart will save approximately 10 minutes on the day of your appointment.
Image Copy Request
When requesting a copy of radiology images, please allow a minimum of a 48-hour advance notice for all procedures conducted at any of our imaging centers.
The link below takes you to our secure website where you can request your images electronically.
All CDs will be sent to your home address via UPS.
Research & Clinical Trials
Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis offers state-of-the-art resources to provide the most advanced specialized care, supported by an extensive program of research and education. The Mellen Center is one of the largest and most comprehensive programs for MS care and research worldwide, managing more than 20,000 patient visits every year. Basic and clinical research conducted at Cleveland Clinic sheds new light on MS every year, moving us ever closer to better treatments and hopefully, one day soon, a cure.
The Mellen Center for MS Treatment and Research conducts clinical trials with the goal of advancing the development of new treatments and diagnostic tools for multiple sclerosis.
If you are interested in learning about research studies and clinical trials at the Mellen Center please contact a member of our research team at:
What is a clinical trial?
Clinical trials are the cornerstone of the drug and device development process. They are formal studies to determine if a new drug, device, or therapy is both SAFE and EFFECTIVE.
All new drugs and devices must go through several stages of testing before they are approved by the FDA to treat patients. There are four general types of clinical trials, corresponding to the different stages in the development of a new therapy:
- Phase I- The initial trial of a drug or device in humans. Phase I trials provide preliminary evidence whether a drug or device is SAFE for use in humans. These trials may test a range of doses of a drug. These may involve healthy controls or individuals with a specific disease. Usually involve 20-80 individuals.
- Phase 2- Phase 2 trials provide preliminary evidence whether a drug or device has a beneficial biological action for the treatment of a disease. They also provide additional information on the safety. Usually involve 100-300 individuals.
- Phase 3- Phase 3 trials are much larger studies which give the FDA more solid information on both the SAFETY and BENEFITS of a drug or device. These studies collect information about side effects and sometimes compare the new drug or device to those already on the market. Usually involve 1000-3000 individuals.
- Phase 4- Post-marketing studies performed after a drug or device is already FDA approved. These give additional information on safety and effectiveness in a much broader range and larger number of people. These studies help to determine if there are any problems associated with long-term use. Involve 1000+ individuals.
Why should I consider participation?
The success of finding new treatments and therapies relies on there being enough people willing to participate in clinical trials. Participants are followed very closely throughout their involvement in a trial. All assessments and interventions are performed according to the protocol for the specific trial. Many people participate to gain access to the newest experimental treatment options prior to FDA approval. Finally, some individuals participate to help other people who have their disease in the future.
How do I find out if I am eligible for participation in a clinical trial?
Clinical trials usually have very specific criteria for participation, and only individuals who meet those criteria may enroll. To determine if you are eligible, speak with your Mellen Center clinical team or the clinical trial research contact, listed for each actively enrolling clinical trial.
How do I find more information about clinical trials?
For additional information on clinical trials in general, see the U.S. National Institutes of Health site:
For a comprehensive list of clinical trials in the United States, please refer to clinicaltrials.gov:
Clinical Trials Currently Enrolling
|Study Name||Targeted Population||Description||Contact|
|Vitamin D (Johns Hopkins, NIH)||Relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis
Walking ability: Independent
|Efficacy of oral Vitamin D (low or standard dose) with Copaxone , No history of Copaxone use
Duration: 2 years
|OPTIONS (Mallinckrodt, Inc)||Relapsing Remitting multiple sclerosis
Age: Over 18 years old
|The OPTIONS Study is looking at how well a study drug works for adults with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) who are currently experiencing a relapse and have not benefited from high-dose corticosteroid treatment.
Duration: 2.5 months
|Adamas 301 (Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)||Multiple Sclerosis patients
Walking ability: Difficulty walking due to your MS. Volunteers must have the ability to walk 100 feet independently with or without the use of walking aides.
|Effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of the investigational drug formulation, ADS-5102, in people with difficulty walking caused by multiple sclerosis (MS).
Duration: 5 months
|DISCO (University of Colorado at Denver)||Any MS patient who is 55 and older currently taking a DMT that has been stable with no new relapses or MRI lesions in the last 5 years.
Age: 55 and older
|The purpose of this study is to assess if MS patients >55 years who are currently on a DMT that have not had any relapses or new brains lesions on MRI in the last 5 years can safely stop their DMT.
Duration: 2 years
Non-interventional Studies Currently Enrolling
|Study Name||Targeted Population||Description||Contact|
|Brain Tissue Donation (NIH)||Any multiple sclerosis
Age: No age limits
Walking ability: N/A
|Post-mortem tissue donation
|Pediatric Database||Any MS
Age: Disease onset prior to age 18, Can be enrolled into study up to age 22
Walking ability: N/A
|Develop a database for data collected during routine clinical care of pediatric patients with possible early onset of demyelinating disease. This information will help us better understand the cause, early detection and the best treatment for demyelinating disorders (like MS) in children
Duration: Collect information at clinical visits to CCF
|CAVS-MS (Race to Erase MS)||Clinical or radiological suspicion of MS
|The study will conduct validation and assess the utility of the central vein sign in MS using MRI images.
Duration: 2 hours
|Relapsing remitting MS patients diagnosed within the past 2 years
|This study is investigating the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and gut barrier in RRMS patients.
Duration: 1 month
|7T Gilenya (Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.)||Relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) patients who are currently taking Gilenya as their disease modifying therapy (DMT).
|The purpose of this study is to use 7T MRI to determine cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between thalamic volume and cognitive function in RRMS patients treated with Gilenya.
Duration: 1 year
|Diet and Relapse||Participants who have already been consented to the Pediatric MS Database (PeMSDD)
Age: Less than 25 if already enrolled in the PeMSDD or less than 22 if newly enrolling in the PeMSDD
|Participants will fill out a diet questionnaire and provide blood samples.
Duration: 1 year
|STEP for MS||
MS patients who score between 4.0 and 6.5 on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) assessment
This study involves exercising for about one hour two times per week for 16 weeks, and four test sessions. If you agree to participate in this study, you will be randomly put into one of two groups. People in one group will exercise using a program at home, and another will exercise at the Mellen Center.
What Type of Research is Being Conducted at the Mellen Center?
Non Interventional Studies at the Mellen Center
Non-interventional research involves the study of one or more characteristics of a disease without directly administering a treatment or intervention. Many non-interventional studies examine the natural process of disease. Others test the effectiveness of medications patients have already started. The Mellen Center conducts a large amount of non-interventional studies to understand MS better, develop new measurement tools for MS, gather ideas about possible new medications, and test the effectiveness of medications in clinical practice. A large portion of non-interventional studies includes the use of new technology or laboratory tests to improve our understanding of the disease.
Innovative Clinical Measures
Research at the Mellen Center is focused on developing sensitive tools to measure the loss of function which is sometimes associated with MS. In the past neurologist relied on semi-quantitative measures based on the physical examination; however these measures are not very sensitive and differ significantly from one rater to the other. The Mellen Center is studying novel technology based assessments of neurological function. These include dynamic gait analysis and testing of neurological function using measurements obtained from accelerometers in common devices such as I-Pads. Testing of memory, concentration and attention is also being studies using technologies that may, in the future, allow patients to be monitored from the comfort of their own home and conducting their regular activities. The Mellen Center is also investigating patient self-reported measures of function and quality of life, as these measures have received little attention in the past and may be sensitive to change when following MS over time.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a valuable tool for diagnosing and following MS patients. MRI can also be used to better understand the disease process and helps identify MS therapies in early stages of development. The Mellen Center has a dedicated Neuro Imaging Laboratory with MRI units housed in the Mellen Center building. A high field (7 Tesla) MRI machine was recently acquired, which is the first of its kind in Northeast Ohio and is among only a handful of such units across the entire country. The Mellen Center has a team of technicians, engineers and physicists who use advanced MRI to answer questions about the natural history of MS, how MS lesions develop, how MS medications work, and how to detect MS in early stages. MRI research may occur in the context of an interventional study (i.e. clinical trials). Techniques commonly used at the Mellen Center include diffusion tensor imaging or DTI, which analyzes the movement of water in brain tissue. Functional MRI (fMRI) combines anatomical images with measures of brain metabolism and function which allows investigators to understand how activation patterns in the brains of MS patients differ from normal individuals. Sensitive measures of atrophy have also been developed that allow researchers to measure how the thickness of the cortex changes over time and how this may relate to cognitive symptoms and disability.
Optical Coherence Tomography
Vision is commonly affected in MS and is most frequently caused by inflammation affecting the optic nerve. A novel technique called Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) allows high resolution pictures to be taken of the retina of the eye. This allows for measurement of the nerve fiber layers in a rapid and highly reproducible manner. The Mellen Center has a spectral domain OCT until, which can capture data from patients in several minutes and may provide a window into disease processes in the brain. Research has focused on using the eye as a model system for testing of therapeutic agents in multiple sclerosis, and also as a sensitive biomarker of MS disease activity.
The identification of a laboratory marker to help diagnose, prognosticate, or predict response to treatment in MS has been elusive to date. The Mellen Center is looking at several blood and cerebrospinal fluid markers that may prove useful in the clinical care of MS patients in the future. One such marker is Vitamin D, which has received significant attention as it appears to be low in MS patient and levels tend to correlate with disease activity. Studies that incorporate imaging, OCT and blood markers, such as Vitamin D, will be useful in determining the utility of these markers and possible interventions.
Basic Science Research
Research in the laboratory aims to understand the biological mechanism through which MS occurs and mechanisms which underlie the evolution of the disease over time. Basic science research commonly uses tissue from MS patients and other experimental models. Basic science research at the Mellen Center is conducted by scientists at the Lerner Research Institute who also see MS patients and understand the unmet needs of MS patients. Basic science is the most direct line for the discovery of new therapies for MS. Research at the Mellen Center has focused on the neurodegenerative aspects, including potential mitochondrial injury, and the inflammatory processes of the disease. The use of high resolution serial section 3D microscopy allows researchers to evaluate changes occurring at the ultra-structural level. Models simulating the blood brain barrier have also been developed which may aid in the identification of novel therapeutic molecules. The Mellen Center supports an active brain donation program which allows our scientists to directly examine the brain and the changes seen in MS.
Meet the Research and Clinical Trials Team
Additional Clinical Trial Team Members:
- Charlene Belsole, CCRP
- Jesse Ray Brillhart
- Erin Flynn, BPH
- Kalyani Gonuguntla BS
- Timothy Hudec
- Dee Ivancic, CCRP
- Kelsey Kenny, MA, CCRP
- John Mays, CCRP
- Stephanie Moore, MPH
- Leah Tardivo, RN, BSN
- Jennifer Sedlak, RN, BSN, MSCN
- Tammy Skaramagas, BA, CCRP
- Darlene Stough, RN, MSCN, CCRP
- Malory Weber, MBA
- Cassie Zimmerman, MPH, CCRP
For Medical Professionals
Education & Training
In conjunction with Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis staff have the opportunity to interact in teaching sessions in the neurosciences curriculum, as well as teaching students one-on-one in elective time. We host a neuroimmunology fellowship, have elective rotations for neurology residents and work with medical students regularly. There are also physiatry opportunities for residents and fellows.
Additional education opportunities available through the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis include:
- An annual regional update on multiple sclerosis in late spring/early summer. Watch for an announcement about this program in the spring of each year.
- Electives for physiatry trainees and neurology trainees.
- Medical student rotations as part of the outpatient neurology experience.
- Elective two-week neurology resident outpatient rotation with a variety of experiences including one-on-one bedside teaching with center staff, exposure to rehabilitation procedures such as botox injections for spasticity and intrathecal baclofen pump refills, neuroradiology, occupational therapy, social work and physical therapy.
- A monthly team conference on different topics in multiple sclerosis care which we call “Mellen Center Approaches”. Consensus results of these discussions are posted below for use by all medical professionals who treat patients with multiple sclerosis.
Virtual Grand Rounds
Mellen Center Approaches
To assist other medical professionals involved in treating patients with multiple sclerosis, Mellen Center staff have developed a series of professional "Mellen Center Approaches" fact sheets.
To learn more about Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis education opportunities and programs, please contact Alex Rae-Grant, MD at 216.445.2751.
- Frequently Asked Questions about MS
- Multiple Sclerosis: Resources for Caregivers
- Multiple Sclerosis: Glossary of Terms
- How is Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosed?
- Eating Right With MS
- Exercise & Multiple Sclerosis
- Depression & Multiple Sclerosis
- Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis
- Living with Multiple Sclerosis
- Intimacy and Multiple Sclerosis
- Multiple Sclerosis & Pain
- Impact of Temperature Variation on Multiple Sclerosis
- Impaired Cognition in Multiple Sclerosis
- Talking to Your Teen About Multiple Sclerosis
- Needle Disposal
- Bladder & Bowel Dysfunction