What is Multiple sclerosis? It is a disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves. Between 8,000 and 10,000 children under the age of 18 are diagnosed with MA each year. Normally MS is diagnosed in children following a nerve disorder called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). Adult MS and childhood MS are similar in symptoms like, problems with vision, balance, walking, bladder and bowel control, tingling or numbness, and tremors. Children with MS tend to feel a lack of energy and are prone to seizures, which doesn’t affect adults with the condition.
Unfortunately there is no cure for childhood MS, but there are treatments that can help relieve symptoms of the disease. Corticosteroids can be used to reduce inflammation during flares, but many may suffer side effects. Plasma exchange and intravenous immunoglobulin can be used for children that cannot handle corticosteroids. Treatments also include physical therapy, occupational therapy and counseling.
Although MS is rare, it is important to bring awareness to help everyone have a better understanding of what multiple sclerosis is.