Lilyana Amezcua, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology

Program Director, Multiple Sclerosis Fellowship

Director, Keck Huntington Beach Multiple Sclerosis Infusion Program

Department of Neurology DEI Champion

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Dr. Amezcua is an Associate Professor of Neurology, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Champion, and the Division Chief for Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis at the University of Southern California (USC), Keck School of Medicine. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from University of California Irvine in Irvine, California, her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, followed by neurology residency and clinical fellowship in neuroimmunology and multiple sclerosis at USC. She received her Master of Science degree in clinical, biomedical, and translational science from USC, Preventive Medicine, under a Clinical Translational Science Institute NIH KL2 award.

She spearheaded the collaborative research consortium: Alliance for Research in Hispanic MS (ARHMS) and serves as principal investigator. ARHMS is geared at better defining racial and ethnic health disparities, by examining modifiable (social determinants of health and environmental) from non-modifiable genetic factors involved in disease severity and progression specific to the Hispanic and Latino population affected with MS. She serves in numerous national and international committees including as an elected member to the NMSS National Medical Advisory Committee (NMAC), American Academy of Neurology Quality Measures for MS, and NIH NINDS Health Disparities Strategic Steering Committee. She has been recognized with numerous awards including the NMSS Health Care Champion.


  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Healthcare Physician Champion Award, 2022
  • American Academy of Neurology: Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, 2019
  • Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers: Best Platform: Patient and Family Education, 2016


  • Current opinion: Racial and ethnic health disparities in multiple sclerosis: considering the social determinants of health Curr Opin Neurol. 2024 Mar 21. . View in PubMed
  • The impact of medical insurance on health care access and quality for people with multiple sclerosis in the United States: A scoping review Mult Scler. 2024 Mar; 30(3):299-307. . View in PubMed
  • Multiple Sclerosis in Black and Hispanic Populations: Serving the Underserved Neurol Clin. 2024 Feb; 42(1):295-317. . View in PubMed
  • Tuberculous Meningitis or Neurosarcoidosis-a Diagnostic Quandary From the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Case Conference Proceedings Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2024 01; 11(1):e200184. . View in PubMed
  • A tale of race and B cells in multiple sclerosis Nat Rev Neurol. 2024 01; 20(1):5-6. . View in PubMed
  • Re-thinking race and geography in multiple sclerosis Mult Scler. 2024 Jan; 30(1):16-18. . View in PubMed
  • Disparities by Race in Pregnancy Care and Clinical Outcomes in Women With Multiple Sclerosis: A Diverse Multicenter Cohort Neurology 2024 02 27; 102(4):e208100. . View in PubMed
  • Inclusion of optic neuritis in dissemination in space improves the performance of McDonald 2017 criteria in Hispanic people with suspected multiple sclerosis Mult Scler. 2023 Dec; 29(14):1748-1754. . View in PubMed
  • Real-World Safety and Effectiveness After 5 Years of Dimethyl Fumarate Treatment in Black and Hispanic Patients with Multiple Sclerosis in ESTEEM Neurol Ther. 2023 Oct; 12(5):1669-1682. . View in PubMed
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Multiple Sclerosis Community: A Call to Action Int J MS Care. 2023 Sep-Oct; 25(5):199-205. . View in PubMed
  • Impact of adherence to disease modifying therapies on long-term clinical and economic outcomes in multiple sclerosis: A claims analysis of real-world data Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2023 Sep; 77:104866. . View in PubMed
  • Demographics and baseline disease characteristics of Black and Hispanic patients with multiple sclerosis in the open-label, single-arm, multicenter, phase IV CHIMES trial Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2023 Aug; 76:104794. . View in PubMed
  • Efficacy of Dimethyl Fumarate in Young Adults with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: Analysis of the DEFINE, CONFIRM, and ENDORSE Studies Neurol Ther. 2023 Jun; 12(3):883-897. . View in PubMed
  • Multiple sclerosis in Indigenous Peoples of the Americas: A systematic review of incidence, prevalence, and outcomes Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2023 Apr; 72:104612. . View in PubMed
  • Enhancing diversity of clinical trial populations in multiple sclerosis Mult Scler. 2023 08; 29(9):1174-1185. . View in PubMed
  • Differential diagnosis of suspected multiple sclerosis: an updated consensus approach Lancet Neurol. 2023 08; 22(8):750-768. . View in PubMed
  • Dimethyl Fumarate Delays Multiple Sclerosis in Radiologically Isolated Syndrome Ann Neurol. 2023 03; 93(3):604-614. . View in PubMed
  • MOG Antibody-Associated Disease and Thymic Hyperplasia: From the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Case Conference Proceedings Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2023 03; 10(2). . View in PubMed
  • Understanding humoral immunity and multiple sclerosis severity in Black, and Latinx patients Front Immunol. 2023; 14:1172993. . View in PubMed
  • Health Disparities Research Curricula and Training Development: Recommendations From a National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Workgroup Neurology. 2023 08 15; 101(7 Suppl 1):S47-S58. . View in PubMed
  • Epidemiologic trends of multiple sclerosis in Puerto Rico (2013-2020) Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2022 Dec; 68:104240. . View in PubMed
  • Promoting Physical Activity in a Spanish-Speaking Latina Population of Low Socioeconomic Status With Chronic Neurological Disorders: Proof-of-Concept Study JMIR Form Res. 2022 Apr 20; 6(4):e34312. . View in PubMed
  • The impact of socioeconomic status on mental health and health-seeking behavior across race and ethnicity in a large multiple sclerosis cohort Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2022 Feb; 58:103451. . View in PubMed
  • Ancestral risk modification for multiple sclerosis susceptibility detected across the Major Histocompatibility Complex in a multi-ethnic population PLoS One. 2022; 17(12):e0279132. . View in PubMed
  • Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Continuum (Minneap Minn). 2022 08 01; 28(4):1083-1103. . View in PubMed
  • Internuclear Ophthalmoplegia Characterizes Multiple Sclerosis Rather Than Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disease J Neuroophthalmol. 2022 06 01; 42(2):239-245. . View in PubMed
  • Consensus Curriculum for Fellowship Training in Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Neurol Clin Pract. 2021 Aug; 11(4):352-357. . View in PubMed
  • Perceptions and Preferences Regarding Multiple Sclerosis Research Among Racial and Ethnic Groups Int J MS Care. 2021 Jul-Aug; 23(4):170-177. . View in PubMed
  • Hypertension and hypertension severity in Hispanics/Latinx with MS Mult Scler. 2021 10; 27(12):1894-1901. . View in PubMed
  • Clinical and MRI characteristics of multiple sclerosis in patients of Middle Eastern and North African ancestry residing in Ontario, Canada Mult Scler. 2021 06; 27(7):1027-1036. . View in PubMed
  • Expanded access to multiple sclerosis teleneurology care following the COVID-19 pandemic Mult Scler J Exp Transl Clin. 2021 Jan-Mar; 7(1):2055217321997467. . View in PubMed
  • Effectiveness of film as a health communication tool to improve perceptions and attitudes in multiple sclerosis Mult Scler J Exp Transl Clin. 2021 Jan-Mar; 7(1):2055217321995947. . View in PubMed
  • Health Disparities, Inequities, and Social Determinants of Health in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders in the US: A Review JAMA Neurol. 2021 12 01; 78(12):1515-1524. . View in PubMed
  • Real-World Safety and Effectiveness of Dimethyl Fumarate in Black or African American Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: 3-Year Results from ESTEEM Neurol Ther. 2020 Dec; 9(2):483-493. . View in PubMed
  • Real-World Safety and Effectiveness of Dimethyl Fumarate in Hispanic or Latino Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: 3-Year Results from ESTEEM Neurol Ther. 2020 Dec; 9(2):495-504. . View in PubMed
  • The genetic diversity of multiple sclerosis risk among Hispanic and African American populations living in the United States Mult Scler. 2020 10; 26(11):1329-1339. . View in PubMed
  • Race and ethnicity on MS presentation and disease course Mult Scler. 2020 04; 26(5):561-567. . View in PubMed
  • Race, ethnicity, and cognition in persons newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis Neurology. 2020 04 07; 94(14):e1548-e1556. . View in PubMed
  • Efficacy and Safety of Alemtuzumab in Patients of African Descent with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: 8-Year Follow-up of CARE-MS I and II (TOPAZ Study) Neurol Ther. 2019 Dec; 8(2):367-381. . View in PubMed
  • Women’s Health: Contemporary Management of MS in Pregnancy and Post-Partum Biomedicines. 2019 Apr 19; 7(2). . View in PubMed
  • Collaborative International Research in Clinical and Longitudinal Experience Study in NMOSD Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2019 09; 6(5):e583. . View in PubMed
  • Signal Hyperintensity on Unenhanced T1-Weighted Brain and Cervical Spinal Cord MR Images after Multiple Doses of Linear Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agent AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2019 08; 40(8):1274-1281. . View in PubMed
  • Rituximab during pregnancy in neuromyelitis optica: A case report Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2019 03; 6(2):e542. . View in PubMed
  • Native ancestry is associated with optic neuritis and age of onset in hispanics with multiple sclerosis Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2018 Nov; 5(11):1362-1371. . View in PubMed
  • Vitamin D and disability in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in patients with a Mexican background Acta Neurol Belg. 2018 Mar; 118(1):47-52. . View in PubMed
  • Ethnic Considerations and Multiple Sclerosis Disease Variability in the United States Neurol Clin. 2018 Feb; 36(1):151-162. . View in PubMed
  • Multiple Sclerosis Mortality by Race/Ethnicity, Age, Sex, and Time Period in the United States, 1999-2015 Neuroepidemiology. 2018; 50(1-2):35-40. . View in PubMed
  • Ethical Considerations of Patient-Funded Research for Multiple Sclerosis Therapeutics Neurotherapeutics. 2017 Oct; 14(4):945-951. . View in PubMed
  • Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and multiple sclerosis susceptibility: A multiethnic study Neurology. 2017 Sep 26; 89(13):1330-1337. . View in PubMed
  • FOD Restoration for Enhanced Mapping of White Matter Lesion Connectivity Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2017 Sep; 10433:584-592. . View in PubMed
  • MS in self-identified Hispanic/Latino individuals living in the US Mult Scler J Exp Transl Clin. 2017 Jul-Sep; 3(3):2055217317725103. . View in PubMed
  • Perceptions of Multiple Sclerosis in Hispanic Americans: Need for Targeted Messaging Int J MS Care. 2017 May-Jun; 19(3):131-139. . View in PubMed
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone versus methylprednisolone added to interferon ß in patients with multiple sclerosis experiencing breakthrough disease: a randomized, rater-blinded trial Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2017 Jan; 10(1):3-17. . View in PubMed
  • Headaches in multiple sclerosis: Cross-sectional study of a multiethnic population Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2016 Apr; 143:71-5. . View in PubMed
  • Clinical Characteristics of Pediatric-Onset and Adult-Onset Multiple Sclerosis in Hispanic Americans J Child Neurol. 2016 07; 31(8):1068-73. . View in PubMed
  • Design and development of an ethnically-diverse imaging informatics-based eFolder system for multiple sclerosis patients Comput Med Imaging Graph. 2015 Dec; 46 Pt 2:257-68. . View in PubMed
  • Multiple sclerosis: review of eye movement disorders and update of disease-modifying therapies Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2015 Nov; 26(6):534-9. . View in PubMed
  • Multiple sclerosis in US minority populations: Clinical practice insights Neurol Clin Pract. 2015 Apr; 5(2):132-142. . View in PubMed
  • Pregnancy and fetal outcomes following natalizumab exposure in pregnancyA prospective, controlled observational study. Mult Scler. 2015 Feb; 21(2):198-205. . View in PubMed
  • Blood-brain barrier breakdown in the aging human hippocampus Neuron. 2015 Jan 21; 85(2):296-302. . View in PubMed
  • Place of birth,age of immigration,and disability in Hispanics with multiple sclerosis Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2015 Jan; 4(1):25-30. . View in PubMed
  • Spinal cord lesions and disability in Hispanics with multiple sclerosis J Neurol. 2013 Nov; 260(11):2770-6. . View in PubMed
  • Prevalence of neurobehavioral, social, and emotional dysfunction in patients treated for childhood craniopharyngioma: a systematic literature review PLoS One. 2013; 8(11):e76562. . View in PubMed
  • Vitamin D levels in Hispanics with multiple sclerosis J Neurol. 2012 Dec; 259(12):2565-70. . View in PubMed
  • Multiple sclerosis in Hispanics: a study of clinical disease expression Mult Scler. 2011 Aug; 17(8):1010-6. . View in PubMed
  • Compressive neuropathies complicating normal childbirth: case report and literature review Birth. 2007 Jun; 34(2):173-5. . View in PubMed