In response to the growing need to understand MS in children, the National MS Society convened an International Pediatric MS Study Group in 2002. This group has evolved to include leadership from the MS International Federation, a growing number of MS Societies, and medical and scientific leaders from over 15 counties.
The fundamental goal:
To foster opportunities for collaboration to enhance our understanding of care of children and adolescents (prior to the 18th birthday) with pediatric MS and other related disorders.
The fundamental belief:
Enhanced worldwide collaboration in educational, research and outreach activities will improve the quality of care, increase the quality and pace of research and increase awareness and understanding of pediatric MS and related disorders.
To date the Study Group:
- Has developed a set of consensus (working) definitions for various acquired CNS demyelinating conditions including pediatric MS
- Has established a preliminary evaluation and diagnostic workup
- Has authored a series of eight peer reviewed articles on pediatric MS and related disorders published in the American Academy of Neurology’s journal Neurology
- Is poised to initiate global research initiatives
- Has initiated a Web site to foster global communication
The National MS Society, in collaboration with the network of Pediatric MS Centers of Excellence and the Study Group, is seeking to develop uniform diagnostic and assessment approaches to treating pediatric MS.
There is great excitement that prospective studies of children with MS and related disorders will help scientists and clinicians not only learn how best to treat children with MS, but to understand the environmental factors that trigger MS (e.g. the influences of exposure to infections, vaccinations and other potential environmental factors), as well as to provide information about the disease process from its earliest stages.
Find out more:
- International Pediatric MS Study Group www.ipmssg.org
- Caring for Children and Teens with MS and Related Disorders (.pdf)