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Neurologist. 2006 Nov;12(6):299-310.

Pediatric multiple sclerosis.

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Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.



It is becoming ever more recognized that multiple sclerosis (MS) occurs in children and adolescents. Although early-onset MS is a variant in the spectrum of MS phenotypes, the diagnosis and management of MS in children poses a unique set of challenges for the clinician. Moreover, it is increasingly clear that these patients require specialized care, which includes a closely monitored medication program, physical therapy, cognitive and educational evaluation and intervention, and psychosocial support both for the patient and family.


The goal of this article is to familiarize the clinician with the clinical and MRI features of pediatric multiple sclerosis and to summarize what is currently known about the clinical disease course. This article highlights important entities in the differential diagnosis of pediatric MS and discusses management strategies based on current literature.


Children and adolescents with MS comprise a small but important subset of MS patients who require a multidisciplinary care approach. Additional multicenter studies are required to explore the effects of disease and treatments on physical, psychosocial, educational, and developmental parameters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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