Multiple Sclerosis is usually a disease adults are afflicted with, but MS in children is all that uncommon. Multiple Sclerosis in Children might show itself differently than it does in adults. Most children are diagnosed with ADEM, or acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, before they ever have MS. ADEM is a disease of the brain and sometimes occurs after a vaccination has been received. Other cases of ADEM manifest following a parasitic or bacterial infection. Of course there are also instances where ADEM spontaneously appears in children.

This disease is considered to be one out of a handful of borderline MS diseases that exist. ADEM is most commonly seen in children between the ages of 5 and 8. The good news about this disease is most children fully recover. There tend to be mild residual disabilities once the disease is no longer present and recovery time is around 1 to 6 months.

ADEM causes lesions on the brain and spinal cord, just like Multiple Sclerosis does, which is why it is considered to be a borderline MS disease. When more than one case of ADEM occurs in a child, the disease is then referred to as MDEM or ‘multiphasic disseminated encephalomyelitis. If left untreated, ADEM or MDEM can develop into MS, from which recovery is extremely rare.


Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis in Children and Treatment


The symptoms of ADEM include fever, lethargy, headache, stiff neck, delirium, seizures, and coma, but these are generally temporary. However, Multiple Sclerosis in children symptoms includes those similar to what adults feel and they can range from being mild to severe. Kids can experience tremors, numbness, tingling, an overall weakness, muscle spasms, changes in vision, difficulty walking, sensory changes, and the inability to maintain bladder or bowel control. They could possibly experience instances of lethargy and seizures as well, even though these aren’t common symptoms in adults.

Methylprednisolone is the most common corticosteroid medication used to treat MS in children. This solution is administered via IV once a day, but only for 3 to 5 days. In addition to this MS med, prednisone is an oral corticosteroid prescribed after the methylprednisolone has been administered. Children tend to tolerate these meds fairly well, but occasional moodiness, an increase in blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as irritation of the stomach can also occur. These side effects can be treated by a doctor if need be. Multiple Sclerosis in children requires the use of interferon beta-1a, interferon beta-1b, or glatiramer to prevent attacks and symptoms are treated with additional types of medication, counseling, or occupational and physical therapy.


Related articles: MS Disability | Epstein Barr Virus Multiple Sclerosis | Multiple Sclerosis Incidence | MS Genetic | MS in Teenagers |