How much do you know about pediatric MS?
Jacqueline Ho | Aug 19, 2014 Jan 15, 2014
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MS diagnoses are more challenging in adults than they are in children.
Diagnosing pediatric MS presents unique challenges because there are various childhood disorders that have similar symptoms and characteristics as those associated with MS. This makes diagnosing MS in children more complex than diagnosing MS in adults.
Doctors use the same types of tests to diagnose both pediatric MS and MS in adults.
Testing for MS in children and adults includes neurological examinations, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), evaluations of clinical history and numerous other diagnostic tests.
There are more children with MS in the U.S. than there are adults with MS.
Pediatric MS affects about 3 to 5 percent of the 2.3 million people living with MS worldwide.
MS symptoms are mostly the same in both children and adults.
Most symptoms of pediatric MS are similar to symptoms seen in adults with MS. These can include fatigue, numbness and vision problems. However, some symptoms, such as seizures and mental status changes are experienced more in children than in adults.
If diagnosed early enough, MS in children can be cured.
Currently, there is no cure for MS in children or adults. Medications are available to help control the disease or slow its progression. Effective medications vary from person to person, so patients should work with their doctor to find the best treatment for them.
Since research of pediatric MS is still exploding, there are no resources for children with MS or their families.
There are many resources that provide support for children with MS and their families. Some resources include the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).