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Semin Neurol. 2016 Apr;36(2):148-53. doi: 10.1055/s-0036-1579738. Epub 2016 Apr 26.

Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis.

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Department of Pediatric Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.


Pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory neurologic disease that is challenging to diagnose and treat. Although there are many clinical parallels between pediatric-onset MS and adult-onset MS, there is also accumulating evidence of distinguishing clinical features that may, in part, arise from development-specific, neuroimmune processes governing MS pathogenesis in children. Here the authors describe the clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment of pediatric MS, with a particular focus on describing clinical features and highlighting new developments that promise a better understanding of pediatric MS pathogenesis. An important task that lies ahead for pediatric neurologists is better understanding the early gene-environment interaction that precipitates the first demyelinating event in pediatric MS. This area is of particular importance for understanding the MS etiology and the natural history of pediatric MS. Such understanding should in turn inform new developments in diagnostic tools, long-term therapies, and much-needed biomarkers. Such biomarkers are not only valuable for defining the disease onset, but also for monitoring both the treatment response and a disease evolution that spans multiple decades in children with MS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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