The focus of OMRF’s Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence is to provide optimal medical care while advancing the understanding of MS—a disease of the central nervous system. Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the brain and spinal cord caused by inflammation and degeneration. Inflammation causes damage to myelin, the protective covering that surrounds nerve cells. When this covering is damaged, nerve impulses are slowed and sometimes blocked all together. Degeneration can cause nerve cells to die prematurely. This combination of effects causes a variety of symptoms, including problems with vision, tremors, paralysis, painful spasms, imbalance, and cognitive changes.
From an MS clinical research perspective we are interested in the visual system, cognition, and balance and ambulation in MS.
The effects of MS in the brain commonly involve information processing in the visual system. The field of neuro-ophthalmology deals with problems with vision such as information coming from the eyes to the brain (called the afferent system) and the brain control of eyes positioning and movement (called the efferent system). Damage to the nerve pathways in the afferent system causes decrease or loss of vision, or blind spots in the visual fields. Damage to the efferent system creates misalignment of the eyes causing double vision or tracking abnormalities. We want to determine if evaluating certain measurements in the eye can give us insight into degenerative processes in the brain itself and use them as markers of disease progression.
One area of research we are pioneering is the effect of MS on balance. The delay of messages from the brain to the body can cause overcorrection when patients trip causing a fall. It can alter normal gait, occasionally making it impossible to walk independently. We want to design objective ways to monitor the changes and how the disease progression can impact patients’ function and safety. This will help identify the problems in a timely manner and intervene accordingly.
In addition to working with patients to address MS-related difficulties with motor skills, sensory issues, cognition, and coordination, the center participates in clinical trials to evaluate new medications directed treating the disease.
We will also work with scientists in the lab exploring basic science aspects of MS such as genetics and immunology. By learning more about the origins and behaviors of the disease, we might be able to slow or stop progression in current patients and prevent MS in others.
B.S., Colegio San Carlos, Bogotá, Colombia, 1980
M.D. Universidad Militar Nueva Granada, Bogotá, Colombia, 1985
Honors and Awards
1985 Universidad Militar Nueva Granada Escuela Militar De Medicina Second Best Graduating Medical Student
1986 Hospital Militar Central Best Intern Companionship Award
1990 Department Of Ophthalmology Hospital Militar Central Chief Resident
1990 Hospital Militar Central Resident’s Best Research Project: “Chlamydial Iga Antibodies In Tears Of Humans With Follicular Conjunctivitis”
1992 Colombian Association Of Medical Schools Member Of The National Medical Education Council In Ophthalmology
1998 Department Of Neurology University Of Oklahoma Chief Resident
1999 American Academy Of Neurology Annual Meeting Scholarship
2000 American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award
2001 – 2008 Who’s Who in America
2002 – 2008 Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering
2008 Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare
Member, Board of Trustees, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Oklahoma Chapter, 2001 – present
Board Member, MS Bridge, 2003 – present
Vice Chairman, Clinical Action Committee, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Oklahoma Chapter, 2005 – 2006
Chairman, Clinical Action Committee, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Oklahoma Chapter, 2007 – present
Member, National Council of Clinical Action Committee Chairs, National Clinical Advisory Board, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2008 – present
Reviewer, International Journal of MS Care, 2006 – present
Reviewer, Neurology, 2000 – present
Reviewer, Ocular Therapeutics Handbook – Sudden Visual Loss chapter, Editor: Nicky R. Holdeman, 1995
American Academy of Neurology
American Academy of Ophthalmology
American Medical Association
North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society
Multiple Sclerosis Section
Neuro-Ophthalmology / Neuro-Otology Section AAN
Oklahoma State Medical Association
Oklahoma County Medical Society
Joined OMRF Scientific Staff in 2011
Multiple sclerosis poses many scientific challenges that cover the spectrum from molecular research to clinical outcomes. A hindrance to all type of research and clinical interventions is the relative lack of objective quantifiable measures of disease progression. These “disease markers” are yet to be identified and validated and may include autoantibodies, cytokines, MRI parameters, anatomical neuronal evaluation, and disability measures.
A clinical research interest of our center is the use of computerized systems to evaluate gait and balance. This approach identifies changes before they are apparent on regular physical examinations and can be used to accurately monitor progression. Another is the use of optical coherence tomography to measure potential neuronal loss in the retina as an indicator of a corresponding process in the brain that is secondary to MS-induced inflammation and/or neurodegeneration.
Kaufman M, Pardo G, Rossman H, Sweetser MT, Forrestal F, Duda P. Natalizumab treatment shows no clinically meaningful effects on immunization responses in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. J Neurol Sci 2014. [Abstract] EPub
Filippi M, Rocca MA, Pagani E, De SN, Jeffery D, Kappos L, Montalban X, Boyko AN, Comi G, on behalf of the ALLEGRO Study Group. Placebo-controlled trial of oral laquinimod in multiple sclerosis: MRI evidence of an effect on brain tissue damage. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2014. [Abstract] EPub
Fjeldstad C, Bemben M, Pardo G. Reduced retinal nerve fiber layer and macular thickness in patients with multiple sclerosis with no history of optic neuritis identified by the use of spectral domain high-definition optical coherence tomography. J Clin Neurosci 18:1469-1472, 2011. [Abstract]
Fjeldstad C, Pardo G, Bemben D, Bemben M. Decreased postural balance in multiple sclerosis patients with low disability. Int J Rehabil Res 34:53-58, 2011. [Abstract]
Zwibel H, Pardo G, Smith S, Denney D, Oleen-Burkey M. A multicenter study of the predictors of adherence to self-injected glatiramer acetate for treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. J Neurol 258:402-411, 2011. [Abstract]
Fjeldstad C, Frederiksen C, Fjeldstad AS, Bemben M, Pardo G. Arterial compliance in multiple sclerosis: a pilot study. Angiology 61:31-36, 2010. [Abstract]
Pardo G, Boutwell C, Conner J, Denney D, Oleen-Burkey M. Effect of oral antihistamine on local injection site reactions with self-administered glatiramer acetate. J Neurosci Nurs 42:40-46, 2010. [Abstract]
Giovannoni G, Barbarash O, Casset-Semanaz F, King J, Metz L, Pardo G, Simsarian J, Sorensen PS, Stubinski B, Rebif New Formulation Study Group. Safety and immunogenicity of a new formulation of interferon beta-1a (Rebif New Formulation) in a Phase IIIb study in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis: 96-week results. Mult Scler 15:219-228, 2009. [Abstract]
Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence
Arthritis & 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) 271-2887