Behavioral Symptoms in Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis: Relation to Fatigue and Cognitive Impairment

J Child Neurol. 2016 Jul;31(8):1062-7. doi: 10.1177/0883073816636227. Epub 2016 Mar 9.


The emotional and behavioral problems associated with pediatric multiple sclerosis remain unclear. Participants with pediatric multiple sclerosis or clinically isolated syndrome (n = 140; ages 5-18 years) completed self- and parent ratings using the Behavioral Assessment System for Children, Second Edition, neurologic exam, the Fatigue Severity Scale, and neuropsychological assessment. Mean self- and parent-ratings on the Behavioral Assessment System for Children, Second Edition, were in the typical range across all scales. However, 33.1% indicated a clinically significant problem on a least 1 scale. Although the type of clinical problems varied across participants, attention problems, somatization, and anxiety were found to be most common. Disease features including duration, age of onset, neurologic disability, and fatigue did not distinguish those with and without clinical problems. However, cognitive functioning significantly predicted the presence of a clinical problem (P =02). Pediatric multiple sclerosis is associated with a range of nonspecific emotional and behavioral clinical problems, occurring more frequently in those patients with cognitive involvement.

Keywords: BASC-2; behavior; cognition; fatigue; multiple sclerosis; pediatric.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / complications
  • Attention
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / complications*
  • Fatigue / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology*
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parents
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Self Report
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Somatoform Disorders / complications