Farhat Husain, M.D.
Arthritis & Clinical Immunology Research Program
Neurologist, Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence
Multiple sclerosis is an incredibly complex disease because it affects the nervous system and the brain—basic parts of which scientists are still working to understand. That’s why treatment of the disease requires the cooperation of several disciplines.
In OMRF’s Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence, we combine clinical care with emerging therapies and state-of-the-art research. This allows us to use the most recent discoveries in the field to treat patients and contribute to future findings. We can combine information from clinical evaluations, MRI scans and lab tests to make the most accurate diagnosis and tailor treatment to individual patients.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, which means the immune system doesn’t just attack foreign invaders—it goes after the brain and spinal cord, causing inflammation and degeneration. By interfering with the nervous system, the disease slows and sometimes stops nerve impulses, causing pain, tremors, confusion and sometimes paralysis.
One area of research we’re interested in is using computers for testing of cognitive disorders in MS patients. Because of the interruption of neural communication, some patients experience attention deficit disorders, memory loss and slower processing of information. This is as much a quality-of-life issue as physical paralysis, because it changes the ability of the patient to live the life they’ve known.
While it’s called the MS Center of Excellence, we also treat patients with a similar autoimmune disease called neuromyelitis optica (or NMO). Much like MS, the disease causes damage to the myelin sheaths that coat nerves, but it has a different cause and requires different treatments than multiple sclerosis. Symptoms of the disease include weakness and sometimes paralysis in limbs, a loss of sight and feeling and bladder and bowel issues.
PECHS College for Women, Karachi, Pakistan, 1966-1967
M.D., Dow Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan MBBS, 1973
Honors and Awards
U.S. Army Commendation Medal for Exemplary Service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Scholarship from Directorate of Education, Karachi, Pakistan for Outstanding Performance in Pre-Medical Exams
Continuing Medical Education Committee, Integris Southwest Medical Center (2009 to present)
Institutional Review Board Committee, Norman Regional Hospital, 2002-2008
Medical Therapeutics Committee, Norman Regional Hospital 2002-2008
Chair, Ethics Committee, Stillwater Medical Center, 2000-2001
Professional Practice Committee: AAEDM 1996-1998
Continuing Medical Education Committee, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center,1996-1998
Academic Misconduct Board, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 1995-1996
American Academy of Neurology
American Academy of Neurology, Neuro Muscular Section
Oklahoma State Medical Association
Oklahoma County Medical Society
American Association of Electrodiagnosis and Electromyography
Women in Neurology, American Academy Neurology
Joined OMRF Scientific Staff in 2011
I have reentered the world of academics after maintaining a private medical practice for the past 12 years. My board certifications in neurology, electrodiagnosis and electromyography are being utilized by the immunologists and rheumatologists at OMRF’s Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence for clinical diagnosis and clinical research.
My background in electromyography gives me added qualifications for evaluating select patients with nerve and muscle disorders. I also have significant experience in the field of stroke management.
My main area of interest lies in the cognitive problems in autoimmune disorders, especially multiple sclerosis and lupus. We are studying the cognitive disorders associated with MS, as well as the genetics of MS, and are working towards finding biomarkers as predictors of disease. In addition, I am also looking into the occurrence of MS in South Asian populations.
Over time, I hope to develop collaborative studies with other scientists at OMRF with similar interests.
Husain F, Levin J, Scott J, Fjeldstad C. Recurrent refrains in a patient with multiple sclerosis: earworms or musical hallucinations? Mult Scler Relat Disord 2013 In Press
Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence
Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Research Program, MS 50
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
825 N.E. 13th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Phone: (405) 271-6242
Fax: (405) 271-7063