James Bowen
James D Bowen, MD

James D Bowen, MD

James D Bowen, MD
Specialty

Multiple Sclerosis, Neurology

Clinical Interests / Special Procedures Performed

Multiple Sclerosis, Multiple Sclerosis Clinics at SNI, Neuroimmunology

  • Accepting Children: Yes
  • Accepting New Patients: Yes
  • Accepting Medicare: Yes
  • Accepting Medicaid/DSHS: Yes
Payment Methods Accepted:

Medicare, Medicaid/DSHS, Bill Insurance, VISA, Master Card, Cash, Check, Payment Plan, Sliding Fee Scale

Insurance Accepted:

Contact this office for accepted insurance plans.

Additional Information:

Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology, University of Washington National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Health Professionals and Researchers Volunteer Hall of Fame


Dr. Bowen was voted "Top Doctors" in Seattle Metropolitan Magazine (2011, 2012)

Nearly 4,500 physicians, nurses and physician assistants in King, Kitsap and Snohomish counties nominated colleagues they would choose to treat themselves and their loved ones.

News Release

Dr. Bowen was voted "Top Doctors" in Seattle Magazine (2012). 

A survey was mailed to more than 18,000 physicians in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties. The survey asked physicians to name the provider they would seek out or recommend to loved ones.

News Release

Philosophy of Care

In caring for people with multiple sclreosis and related disorders, it is important to address every aspect of care, including medical and nonmedical issues, to best partner with patients in achieving their highest level of well-being.

Personal Interests

In addition to spending time with my wife and two daughters, I enjoy playing classical guitar, mountaineering, backcountry skiing and home construction projects.

Medical School

Johns Hopkins

Residency

University of Washington

Board Certifications

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Languages:

English

Professional Associations:

American Academy of Neurology

Awards:

National MS Society Volunteer Health Professional and Researchers Hall of Fame

Additional Information:

Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology, University of Washington National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Health Professionals and Researchers Volunteer Hall of Fame


Dr. Bowen was voted "Top Doctors" in Seattle Metropolitan Magazine (2011, 2012)

Nearly 4,500 physicians, nurses and physician assistants in King, Kitsap and Snohomish counties nominated colleagues they would choose to treat themselves and their loved ones.

News Release

Dr. Bowen was voted "Top Doctors" in Seattle Magazine (2012). 

A survey was mailed to more than 18,000 physicians in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties. The survey asked physicians to name the provider they would seek out or recommend to loved ones.

News Release

Dr. Bowen’s research interests span a variety of aspects of MS research but particularly emphasize clinical trials of treatments. He is also involved as a peer and ad hoc reviewer for numerous publications and has authored more than 200 articles, abstracts and publications relating to MS and other neurological diseases.

Rare infection occurs in patient on Tecfidera

On Tuesday 10/21/14 Biogen announced that a patient treated with Tecfidera developed a rare infection, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). This patient was from Europe and had been treated with Tecfidera for 54 months. For approximately 3 ½ years, this person’s lymphocyte counts were very low, in the 200-500/mm3 range. After an illness lasting about 4 months this patient died from complications of the infection.
 
PML is an infection caused by the JC virus. About half of the population has the JC virus. Once a person has the JC virus, the immune system quickly brings it under control, but the virus remains hidden in the kidneys after that. From the kidney, the virus can periodically flare up and the immune system quickly brings it under control again. There are many other viruses that have this ability to periodically flare up, for example a virus that remains hidden in the nerves of the face can periodically flare up causing fever blisters, or chicken pox virus remains hidden in the nerves and can periodically flare to cause shingles. The JC virus is fairly easy for the immune system to control, and it generally does not cause medical problems. The one exception is PML.
 
PML occurs when the JC virus flares up in a person whose immune system is not normal. In this setting the virus can spread from the kidney to the brain where it causes widespread damage and usually death. This can happen with a number of immune system diseases, or with prolonged courses of chemotherapy. In recent years PML has occurred with other medications that block the immune system.
 
Tecfidera has been a very successful medication used to treat multiple sclerosis. However, it can cause a decrease in the white blood cells and lymphocytes in the blood. This decrease is usually about 30, which is a level that would not be concerning.  About...

Importance of planning pregnancies with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

A recent study addressed the outcomes of pregnancy in women with MS who were taking fingolimod (Gilenya). Of 66 pregnancies on the medication, 41 attempted to carry the pregnancy to term. 26 of the 41 had healthy newborns. There were, 9 miscarriages, 24 elective abortion, 4 ongoing pregnancies and 1 with an unknown outcome. Of the elective abortions, four were for fetal malformations. There were 5 cases with abnormal fetal development in the 66 pregnancies. Poor fetal outcomes were found in 14.6% of the pregnancies. This contrasts with a 3% rate of poor outcomes for most pregnancies.

This paper highlights the importance of care in planning pregnancies in MS. It is now known that women with MS have ...

Insufficient evidence to support complementary and alternative therapies for multiple sclerosis

A guideline was recently published about the use of complementary and alternative medicine in multiple sclerosis (MS).

The guideline process involves identifying all of the scientific articles about potential therapies and evaluating them based on their scientific merits. The evaluation process follows a strict set of requirements related to the conduct of the research.

The review included a wide variety of complementary and alternative therapies that have been proposed for MS. Not surprisingly, most therapies did not have sufficient scientific data to determine whether or not they were effective. Some cannabinoid preparations (marijuana extracts) were shown to be effective, primarily for spasticity. This reflects a relatively large number of studies done with these compounds and the availability of a commercially available extract in some countries. A handful of therapies were shown to be ineffective. Most therapies had insufficient studies to determine their effectiveness.

The importance of this review is that it ...

Weak link between epsilon toxin and MS

A recent article has been published suggesting that MS may be caused by a bacterial toxin. The bacteria is Clostridium Perfringens, a common bacteria found in soil and a cause of food poisoning. This bacteria can produce a number of toxins, one of which is the epsilon toxin.

This study found that about 10% of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) had antibodies to the epsilon toxin, compared to 1% of people without MS. In pathology specimens from mice, the epsilon toxin was found to bind to blood vessels in the retina of the eye, and to myelin in the brain. The authors also reported a single case of a woman with MS who was infected with Clostridium Perfringens and that was producing the epsilon toxin.

Though this study has been widely discussed online, I think that it is unlikely that this will be the answer to the MS problem. This study was primarily in pathology tissue, which found that the toxin was able to bind to myelin. Many more studies will be needed to determine whether this toxin is capable of causing damage to myelin of the type that is seen in MS. There are many other known toxins to myelin, but so far none seem to be the cause of MS.

They tried to show that ..

Swedish MS Center design recognized

Less than two years old, the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center has already received an overwhelming amount of praise from patients and physicians alike for its holistic approach to world class care.

Now we can add one more accolade to the list.

Healthcare Design magazine recently recognized the MS Center’s patient and family waiting area as a finalist in the Family Spaces category of its Healthcare Design Remodel Renovation Competition.The entire piece beautifully encapsulates the approach, design and ultimately the quality of care that the MS Center strives to deliver. Here is an excerpt of one of the judge’s comments:

“The entire design is a phenomenal reflection of a deep understanding of the unique needs of patients with multiple sclerosis. It is apparent the design team did their research, listened to the voice of the patient and caregivers, and integrated evidence-based design principles….”

That’s high praise, and it is rewarding to know that the attention we paid to every detail — from furniture and flooring to treatment and waiting areas — was noticed. But it is even more rewarding to know that the center has become an incredible resource in treating those diagnosed with MS, a degenerative disease that strikes the central nervous system.

Information on multiple sclerosis and flu

Now that flu season is upon us, we are getting a lot of questions about the relationship between MS and infections, including influenza. MS does not impair the ability to fight off infections. Likewise, most of the treatments for MS do not impair the ability to fight infections, though there are a few exceptions to this. Most people with MS will therefore not be at any higher risk of colds or flu than the general population. However, infections may affect the MS. People with MS have an increased risk of having an MS attack at the time of infections, including colds, flu, pneumonia, bladder infections, etc. Some have estimated that about 1 out of 10 infections will be accompanied by an MS attack. Likewise, for every MS attack about 1 in 10 will be preceded by an infection. This means that about 90% of MS attacks occur in the absence of an infection.
 
Another important question is the role of vaccination in MS. In general, vaccinations do not seem to cause MS attacks. Because the vaccinations do not usually cause MS attacks, but the flu can cause an MS attack about 1 in 10 times, most neurologists recommend that MS patients receive the influenza vaccine. It is ...

MS in the Pacific Northwest on 12/9

All are invited to attend the presentation, “Multiple Sclerosis in the Pacific Northwest,” on Monday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in Kirkland. I'll discuss multiple sclerosis as a disease, trends, changes in its distribution around the world, and how it uniquely impacts our region. The presentation is free and is open to all ages. Click here for more information.

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Offices

Multiple Sclerosis Center
1600 East Jefferson
A Level
Seattle, WA 98122
Phone: 206-320-2200
Fax: 206-320-2560
Map & Directions
Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish
1600 E. Jefferson St., Suite 205
Seattle, WA 98122
Phone: (206) 320-2200
Fax: (206) 386-2560
Monday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

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