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Diagnosing MS in Pediatrics

January 20, 2016

The primary range of age to be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis is roughly age 20-40. However, more and more children and teenagers are being diagnosed. In fact, 10,000 of the 400,000 diagnosed cases of MS in America are in people younger than 18, with many more case un-diagnosed.

The early signs of MS in pediatrics are different than in adults. It may originate from a nerve disorder called acute disseminated encephalomyelelitis (ADEM). The symptoms of this disorder include headaches, confusion, stiff necks, fever, extreme fatigue and coma. If these symptoms go away in a week or so, there may be nothing to worry about, but if they linger it could be the beginning of MS. The usual symptoms such as vision issues, spasticity, tremors, etc. have been known to come about around that time as well.

MS is known to build up much more slowly in children than in adults, but the disease is known to cause great emotional and cognitive challenges for kids, which could hurt their schoolwork, social life and self-image in the long run.

Corticosteroids are the recommended treatment for pediatrics who are having MS attacks. Corticosteroid medications reduce inflammation in the brain and spinal cord during attacks. The main one is methylprednisolone (Solu-medrol), which you get through an IV once a day for 3-5 days.