Is it possible to identify MS in babies? And what are the symptoms that are indicative of multiple sclerosis in babies? These are important questions and, fortunately, there are answers to them.
First of all, it is important to establish that multiple sclerosis is often described as an adults’ disease. The vast majority of people who develop multiple sclerosis are diagnosed with it between the ages of twenty and forty years. A small number develop multiple sclerosis when middle-aged. Another minority of MS patients are first diagnosed in their late childhood or teens. As for MS in babies, this accounts for the smallest number of multiple sclerosis diagnoses at any given time.
What Symptoms are Indicative of MS in Babies?
Not only is it rare for MS to be diagnosed in babies, but it is also a tricky disease to diagnose at this age. Many of the symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis in babies could be attributed to other factors. So the key to diagnosing MS is identifying a cluster of symptoms consistent with an MS diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis is also dependent on getting the expert opinion of a pediatric neurologist. This expert would be able to determine whether the symptoms were the result of MS or of some other factor.
One of the indications of MS in babies is the development of seizures. Babies below the age of one year suffering from seizures could have multiple sclerosis. It is also possible that they are suffering from brain inflammation, vitamin B6 deficiency, hypoxia, and other seizure-inducing medical conditions. So, clearly, seizures alone do not make an MS diagnosis.
Problems with muscle control are also characteristic to multiple sclerosis in babies. Affected babies may have symptoms such as muscle spasms, weakness or spasticity. These may be difficult to observe if one does not have a sense of what normal muscle tone and movement in babies look like. However, one would be sure to notice if a baby’s coordination and mobility changed significantly because of sudden impairments in muscle control. These symptoms would become more obvious as the baby progressed in age and it became evident that it was having difficulty sitting up, crawling, and ultimately learning to stand upright.
At the end of the day, there is no predictable pattern in the progression of babies’ MS symptoms. The clusters of symptoms developed, their severity, and the speed with which they developed would ultimately depend on the sections of nervous tissue damaged and the speed with which the damage progressed. In this way, MS in babies is very similar to MS in other age groups.