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Early diagnosis is important because there are now treatment options available that may help to slow the progression of the disease. There are also treatment modalities that can help with school and social issues as well as concerns regarding cognition.
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Although Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the most common acquired neurologic disease of adults in North America, approximately 5 percent of MS patients develop symptoms in childhood or adolescence. Currently, there is very limited literature concerning pediatric MS. This means that the impact of the disease on neurologic function, cognition, academic achievement, and psychosocial adjustment is relatively unknown.

The aim of our research is to examine the clinical and demographic features of a large group of pediatric MS patients and document the performance of these children in measures of cognition, school performance, and emotional health.

The pediatric MS group will be compared to an age and gender matched group of healthy controls. To our knowledge, this will represent the first large-scale neurological, neuropsychological, and psychosocial study of pediatric MS patients.

The results of this effort will advance the health care of individuals with MS by documenting the medical, educational, and emotional needs of this population, and will provide invaluable data on the impact of inflammation and demyelination on the developing central nervous system.