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Multiple Sclerosis -- Child

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by Alan R

(MS—Child)

 

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your child's bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
  • Lumbar puncture—to evaluate cerebrospinal fluid that protects the spinal cord and brain
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
Your child's nerve responses may be tested. This can be done with:
Images may be taken of your child's bodily structures. This can be done with an MRI scan.
 

Treatment

The goals of MS treatment are to:
  • Relieve symptoms
  • Prevent relapses
  • Delay disability
  • Slow disease progression
Work with the doctor to develop a treatment plan for your child. Options include:

Medications

Examples of medications used to treat MS in children include:
  • Corticosteroids—to reduce inflammation and shorten MS flare-ups
  • Interferon beta—used to suppress the immune system
  • Intravenous immunoglobulin—a type of antibody

Plasma Exchange

With plasma exchange, the proteins causing the damage to the myelin are removed from the blood. During the plasma exchange, fresh plasma is added to the blood.

Other Treatments

Depending on the symptoms, the doctor may recommend that your child works with a:
  • Physical therapist to help with muscle strength and tone, dexterity, and walking ability—Participating in a regular exercise program may also be helpful.
  • Speech/language pathologist
  • Occupational therapist to help with daily living tasks
  • Psychologist or therapist to help with coping skills
Your child may also need support from teachers and staff at school.

Alternative Treatments

Some people with MS have found alternative treatments, such as massage, acupuncture, and magnet therapy helpful. If you are interested in these types of treatments for your child, talk to the doctor.
 

RESOURCES

Multiple Sclerosis Association of America
http://www.msassociation.org

National Multiple Sclerosis Society
http://www.nationalmssociety.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
http://www.mssociety.ca

 

References


Multiple sclerosis. American Association of Neurological Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Multiple%20Sclerosis.aspx. Updated November 2005. Accessed August 20, 2014.


Multiple sclerosis. Children’s Hospital Boston website. Available at: http://www.childrenshospital.org/health-topics/conditions/multiple-sclerosis-ms. Updated 2012. Accessed August 20, 2014.


Multiple sclerosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 7, 2014. Accessed August 20, 2014.


Multiple sclerosis. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital website. Available at: http://www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/conditions/multiple%5Fsclerosis/index.html. Accessed August 20, 2014.


Munger KL, et al. Body size and risk of MS in two cohorts of US women. Neurology. 2009;73(19):1543-1550.


Pediatric MS. National Multiple Sclerosis Society website. Available at: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/Who-Gets-MS/Pediatric-MS. Accessed August 20, 2014.


Treating MS. National Multiple Sclerosis Society website. Available at: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Treating-MS. Accessed August 20, 2014.

 

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