Meet Dr. Anjali ShahMultiple sclerosis rehabilitation and spasticity management specialist in Dallas

Physiatrist Anjali Shah, M.D., specializes in rehabilitation medicine, a field that helps patients with disabilities live better lives. Dr. Shah is the only physiatrist in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area who is focused solely on multiple sclerosis (MS) and related diseases.

Dr. Shah works in UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Clinical Center for Multiple Sclerosis, the largest such facility in the country, where people with MS can see a variety of specialists under one roof.

“We help people with multiple sclerosis live their best lives, for as long as possible,” she says.

She works closely with the team in all aspects of their work at UT Southwestern: education, patient care, and research.

Dr. Shah was drawn to working with MS patients because many of them don’t receive neurorehabilitation services – even though these are just the kinds of services that could make a big difference in their quality of life.

“Many MS patients are diagnosed and given medication, but then no one tells them how to stay functional,” she says. “There’s a lot of information available about how to live your life most effectively with MS, but this information doesn’t always reach the patient.”

Wheelchair Seating and Mobility Expert

Dr. Shah is also the Director of the weekly wheelchair/seating clinic at UT Southwestern – one of the few such clinics in Dallas that is run by a physician – where she evaluates seating and wheelchair needs for patients with all diagnoses.

Patients come from throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to take advantage of the specialized services Dr. Shah offers at the clinic.

Dr. Shah works mostly with patients’ mobility issues, such as reduced strength, gait problems, and balance issues, as well as with spasticity issues. She uses an array of treatments, including oral medication, botulinum toxin injections, and intrathecal baclofen pump (ITB) therapy. She also screens patients for assistive devices and wheelchairs when needed.

“I work with my patients to create solutions that will allow them to continue with everyday activities,” she says.

Experience that Make a Difference

But MS patients may also struggle with other problems, from bladder, bowel, and sexual dysfunction to depression, employment challenges, fatigue, and pain. That’s when Dr. Shah’s exclusive focus on MS makes a difference.

“Multiple sclerosis varies from patient to patient in terms of symptoms, and it’s unpredictable,” she says. “Also, different patients with MS respond differently to interventions.”

Her expertise in neurorehabilitation for MS means that she can offer rehabilitative care that is uniquely tailored to the needs of each MS patient.

“I understand how their disease is affecting them, and how their treatment should be different compared to other people who have functional disabilities that look similar on the outside. That really helps the patients and their families.

“I enjoy working with patients who have MS because they are driven and motivated; they really want to find out how they can improve their quality of life. It’s so gratifying to help them do that,” Dr. Shah says.