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Handb Clin Neurol. 2014;122:427-41. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-52001-2.00018-2.

Multiple sclerosis in children.

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Division of Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Electronic address:


The onset of multiple sclerosis (MS) in childhood and adolescence is being increasingly recognized. Relative to MS in adults, little is known about the diagnostic evaluation, clinical course, outcome, and management of MS in children. To remedy some of these deficiencies, pediatric MS clinics have been created in several countries to provide specialized care to, and to study, affected children. Research is currently underway to investigate the pathobiologic features of childhood-onset MS, to study the mechanisms of myelin inflammation and repair, to evaluate patient outcomes collaboratively between the different clinics, and to increase knowledge of pediatric MS for children living with the disease. It is hoped that, through an understanding of the earliest aspects of the MS disease process, critical insights will be gained about the genesis of MS.


MRI; cerebrospinal fluid; clinical course; diagnosis; magnetic resonance imaging; prognosis; risk of MS; treatment

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