Pediatric multiple sclerosis

Nat Rev Neurol. 2009 Nov;5(11):621-31. doi: 10.1038/nrneurol.2009.158. Epub 2009 Oct 13.


Pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) accounts for up to 5% of all MS cases. Work conducted over the past 5 years has provided new information about the treatment, pathogenesis, demographics, and natural history of this disorder. Genetic and environmental factors seem to exert critical influences on its development. Clinical, MRI and laboratory data from prepubertal and postpubertal children suggest differences between the immune response and/or CNS environment in younger compared with older children and adults with MS. Randomized, controlled treatment trials for pediatric MS have not yet been performed, but therapies used in adult MS have been evaluated in this population, and their use seems to be safe. This article provides a comprehensive review of current knowledge regarding pediatric MS, highlighting new advances in the field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Progression
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis / epidemiology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / etiology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / therapy*
  • North America / epidemiology
  • Pediatrics*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sex Factors