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Childhood MS is 'more aggressive'

Childhood MS is 'more aggressive'
23rd November 2009

Magnetic resonance images (MRI) of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in childhood have demonstrated that paediatric onset MS is more aggressive and causes more brain lesions than for adults with the condition.

Researchers at the University at Buffalo revealed that despite their more troublesome foundations with the disease, patients with paediatric-onset MS, which account for up to five per cent of total MS cases, develop disabilities at a much-reduced pace to patients with adult-onset MS.

Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, who worked on the results, said that people with paediatric onset MS have three times as many relapses than older individuals with adult-onset disease, meaning there is a greater disease activity in the demographic.

She continued: "But surprisingly, the average time to reach the secondary progressive phase of the disease is longer in patients who develop MS in childhood than in adult onset MS. Reaching the next stage of disability is almost ten years longer in paediatric-onset patients."

Earlier this month, Professor Bruce Taylor of the Menzies Institute in Hobart discovered that an increase in vitamin D can lead to an improved resilience against MS relapses.

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