The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is proud to introduce the latest edition of The Motivator, available now in both print and digital editions! The edition’s cover story, “Pediatric MS,” explores how pediatric MS differs from MS in adults, how it is diagnosed and treated, and how social and emotional well-being is promoted.
Read an excerpt from our cover story here:
E. Ann Yeh, MD, MA, FCRPC, says that just 15 years or so ago, the main challenge in diagnosing pediatric MS wasn’t necessarily obtaining an MRI to see what was happening in a child’s brain. Rather, she explains, the bigger issue often was what was not happening in a doctor’s brain.
“Pediatricians, and even child neurologists, just weren’t trained to think in terms of children having MS. We were given the impression in residency and fellowship that MS did not occur in children, or that if it did, it was so rare that MS should not be high on the list of possibilities to consider when a young person presented with symptoms that could reflect a demyelinating event,” recalls Dr. Yeh. Today, as director of the MS and Demyelinating Disorders Program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, the physician sees dozens of children with MS from across Ontario and nearby Canadian provinces and American states.
Greater awareness that pediatric MS is a real – albeit quite uncommon – condition has contributed to significant improvements in the timeliness and accuracy of diagnosis, according to Dr. Yeh, who is also a senior associate scientist in Neurosciences & Mental Health at SickKids and a professor of pediatrics (Neurology) at the University of Toronto. Factors such as increased access to MRI and the development of a diagnostic pathway by the International Pediatric MS Study Group (IPMSSG) have been particularly important in this regard, notes Dr. Yeh, who estimates that the average child with MS is now diagnosed within about six months of symptom onset.
Continue reading the cover story on MSAA’s website to learn more about this form of multiple sclerosis that was once considered very rare.