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Neurodegener Dis Manag. 2014;4(2):137-46. doi: 10.2217/nmt.14.4.

Cognitive deficits in pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis: what does the future hold?

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Department of Neurology, University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo General Medical Center, 100 High Street, Ste. D-2, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA.


Pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis is relatively rare and research regarding disease characteristics is in its infancy. Regardless, there are a growing number of studies finding early cognitive deficits in this population. There are some similarities in outcomes to those seen in the adult-onset multiple sclerosis population, but also several important differences. With specific regard to cognitive functioning in pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis, there is evidence of deficit in nearly a third of patients, with impairment primarily in areas of processing speed, visual-spatial processing and language. There are additional findings of fatigue and depression that impact functional outcomes requiring further attention in assessment and treatment considerations. This paper also explores other areas requiring increased focus, including treatment and outcomes, neuroimaging and additional disease-modifying factors (comorbidities, socioeconomic status, race and so on).

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