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Friday, March 6, 2009

Multiple sclerosis (MS) in children is being recognized with increasing frequency

Source: United Spinal Association - March 2009 Newsletter

Jean Marie B. Ahorro, MD––The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario Canada; Brenda L. Banwell, MD––Director, Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Clinic The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario Canada

Introduction
Multiple sclerosis (MS) in children is being recognized with increasing frequency. The first descriptions of MS in children were published by Charcot between 1829 and 1849, though it was not for another 50 years that MS in children was again described in the literature (Hanefeld, 2007). There are now several national programs focused on the research and clinical management of children with MS. Recently, an International Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Study group was constituted with the goal of fostering collaborative efforts (for more information, email: info@ipmssg.org).

Demographics and Epidemiology of Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis
How common is MS in children?
Analysis suggests that 2% to 5% of all patients with MS are diagnosed before their 16th birthday (Ness et al., 2007). These estimates, however, are based on retrospective review of established adult MS populations and may underestimate the true prevalence of the disease in the pediatric population. The annual average incidence of a first demyelinating event in Canadian children is 0.9/100,000, but has been reported as lower in other parts of the world (Banwell et al., 2007; Pohl, 2008). The incidence of MS diagnosis following an acute demyelinating event is the subject of ongoing research.

Continue to read article directly from United Spinal's Quarterly Report

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