Message From Bruce Schroffel, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Stony Brook University Hospital

(October 2002) : We are pleased to announce the opening of the Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center this month. It is the nation’s first center for youngsters and teenagers with this puzzling, degenerative neurological disease. Drs. Lauren Krupp and Anita Belman head this unique patient care program. In young adults under 40, MS is a leading cause of disability, and it affects many more women than men.

Primary reasons for establishing the center are the beliefs that MS is underdiagnosed and/or misdiagnosed in children, and that some adult-onset forms may have their origins in childhood. In just the past three years, many children and teenagers from across the country have been referred to Stony Brook for evaluation and diagnosis, in large measure due to the international reputation of our Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care Center, headed by Dr. Patricia Coyle.

Research activities will focus on the impact of both the disease and medications on schoolwork and cognitive functions, the effectiveness of available medicines in this age group, the clinical course of MS, methods of coping with MS, and developing epidemiological databases. Having the new center is an ambitious undertaking, but one that will help us meet our obligation to provide optimal health care for all.

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