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Hello everyone,

Having more clients at Push to Walk with MS recently has led me to have conversations with a variety of people about this disease and condition. One of my friends is a nurse in a pediatrician’s office and she is seeing MS diagnosed more frequently in children now more than ever before. Is this because MS has become a catch-all diagnosis of sorts when no other explanation can be found? Is research showing groups of children exhibiting various symptoms that are similar to adult diagnoses of MS? Are there new causes of MS in children? I decided to search a little on the internet, and found some very interesting information.

According to WebMD, I found that while “multiple sclerosis (MS) occurs most commonly in adults, it is increasingly being diagnosed in children and teenagers. Of the 400,000 diagnosed cases of MS in the U.S., 8,000 to 10,000 are in children up to 18 years old. Neurologists think there are probably many more children with MS that have not been diagnosed.” I found this intriguing and wanted to know more. The article continued on to say “multiple sclerosis may manifest itself differently in children and adults. In children, it may begin after a period of neurological symptoms called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). For most children, the symptoms of ADEM — including headache, delirium, lethargy, coma, seizures, stiff neck and fever — are temporary. But other children continue to have symptoms or experience additional symptoms that meet the criteria of MS. MS is thought to progress more slowly in children than in adults; however, significant disability can occur at an earlier age in people whose MS begins in childhood or adolescence. The cognitive and psychological consequences of MS are likely greater in children and adolescents and may affect academic performance, self-image, and relationships with peers.”

I will continue to do more research in this area, and see if our program at Push to Walk would be helpful to children diagnosed with MS. If you have experience or knowledge of this topic to share with me and my readers, I’ll hope you’ll share it with us!

Cynthia

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