Study suggests pediatric-onset of MS may have greater adult consequences

June 18, 2019
A new study suggests adults who had pediatric-onset of multiple sclerosis before they were 18 were more likely to have greater cognitive consequences than patients who developed MS as adults. The results suggest children and adolescents who develop MS should be monitored closely for cognitive changes and helped to manage the potential challenges that early-onset MS poses for cognitive abilities later in life.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, used Swedish registry data and included 5,704 patients with MS (300 of whom had pediatric-onset of the disease), and it compared test scores reflective of information-processing efficiency. Researchers report scores were lower, and declined faster, among patients with pediatric-onset MS compared to patients with adult-onset MS. Additionally, patients with pediatric-onset MS were more likely to experience cognitive impairment. 

One of the study’s limitations includes the possible misclassification of patients because the date of MS onset was largely based on self-reported symptoms.

The study was published in Jama Neurology.

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