Some would say that Dr. Emily Sherrill Riser was destined to become a physician. After all, both her father and her grandfather before her, and then her two brothers, chose that career path. That decision would eventually take her to University of Alabama at Birmingham's medical school where a rotation in the Neurology department during her internship captured her imagination and sent her down the path that inspired her to become one of the preeminent neurologists in the state and one of the leading experts on the aggressive treatment and management of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
"It has been an exciting time to be in this field," Dr. Riser explains. "When I first started out, an MS diagnosis was difficult as there was no treatment. We've since learned that with early diagnosis, aggressive treatment and hyper surveillance, we can greatly diminish the disabling symptoms and halt the progression of the disease. With proper care, and a combination of oral, injectable and infusible medications, MS patients can live normal lives. In fact, women can have children and enjoy a very full and normal lifestyle."
To better meet the needs of MS patients, Dr. Riser and her husband, Dr. John Riser, also a board certified neurologist, established Alabama Neurology Associates in 1988, one of only two in Alabama certified by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers. "Our goal was to create a medical home for MS patients so that they could get centralized, convenient and optimal care rather than fragmented services. We are on the frontlines in MS research and have access to the latest disease-modifying medications and innovations."
Dr. Riser says that it is creating a friendly environment where patients feel at home and cared for is also a priority. "We want to take as much sting out of MS as possible and offer hope. Right now we can't cure MS, but I believe that there will come a day when we will be able to reverse the disease."