Lisa Emrich

Patient Advocate

Living with multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid Arthritis, Lisa Emrich is an award-winning, passionate patient advocate, health writer, classical musician, and backroad cyclist. Her stories inspire others to live better and stay active. Lisa is author of the blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA and founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers. Lisa frequently works with organizations in support of better policies, patient-centered research, and research funding.

Lisa serves on HealthCentral’s Health Advocates Advisory Board, and is a Social Ambassador for the MSHealthCentral Facebook page.

Latest by Lisa Emrich

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Can I Have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia?

In my previous post, Can I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus?, I introduced the topic of comorbidity. Diseases are called comorbid when they exist at the same time and independently within the same patient. With the increasing interest in the field ...

Woman experiencing shortness of breath.

Can RA Cause Shortness of Breath?

Joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and hoarseness and shortness of breath? Yes! RA can affect the smaller joints in the head and neck.

A woman covers her eye with her hand at the eye doctor.

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Could Affect Your Eyes

If you live with rheumatoid arthritis, it’s important to visit the ophthalmologist each year to look for these eye conditions.

Woman trying to rub numbness out of hand.

Beginner's Guide to Multiple Sclerosis

There are many possible causes of numb fingers in people with multiple sclerosis - all of which should be discussed with your primary care doctor in case it’s something serious.

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RA and MS: Living with Two Chronic Diseases

Recently at, I mentioned that I would begin writing here at Several of the commenters on that post shared that they too have both MS and RA. I also received several emails asking questions about my experi...

Doctor reviewing paperwork with patient.

How Medication Could Affect Your Sex Life When You Have RA

When you think of rheumatoid arthritis, you might picture swollen joints, stiffness, pain, and deformity, but it can also affect your sex life.

Perseverance with Psoriatic Arthritis

Byron Janis Talks About Living with Psoriatic Arthritis

Acclaimed classical pianist Byron Janis has lived with psoriatic arthritis for decades. Hear what he learned about treatment, depression, and mind over matter.

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Spasticity and Multiple Sclerosis: Not Just A Muscle Cramp

The topic of spasticity has been on my mind since I’ve been experiencing it more lately. Four years ago, I did not understand what was spasticity and what was not. I complained of really tight muscles to my neurologist who suggested that I exercise m...

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Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and MS: Is There a Connection?

When researchers, observers, and hypothesizers begin to make connections, it can become very interesting. I recently came across listings for research studies which involve patients living with one of two disorders: multiple sclerosis and Ehlers-Danl...

Temperature change from hot to cold.

Why It's Hard to Regulate Your Body Temp When You Have MS

With MS, it can be difficult to get your body temperature just right. You’re too hot or too cold, sweaty or frigid. Understanding this symptom is half the battle.