Katherine DeStefano, MD, MS, is a neurologist who primarily cares for patients in the Yale Medicine Multiple Sclerosis Program. She also treats other immune mediated diseases that affect the central nervous system, such as neuromyelitis optica (NMO), an uncommon syndrome affecting the optic nerves and spinal cord.
“I had a family member diagnosed with a debilitating neurologic disorder at a relatively young age,” Dr. DeStefano says. “That experience piqued my interest in the field and gave me better
insight into what it means to be both the patient and family member of a loved one diagnosed with a chronic neurologic illness.”
She likes to put patients at ease by explaining that multiple sclerosis is not the same disease it was 15 or even 10 years ago. Neurologists now have an expansive list of medications that can prevent disease progression. “We can actually do a great deal to treat patients with multiple sclerosis and change the course of their disease, which is incredibly gratifying to see,” she says.Dr. DeStefano is an assistant professor of neurology at Yale School of Medicine.