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- Sex: female
- Being exposed to certain viruses (herpes virus-6 and Epstein-Barr virus)
- Having family members who have MS
- Being of Northern European descent
- Growing up in a colder climate, as opposed to a tropical climate
- Having certain immune system genes
- Having inflammation of the optic nerve
- Having low vitamin D levels
- Being obese as an adolescent appears to increase the risk of developing MS
- Numbness or tingling in the face or limbs
- Impaired vision in one or both eyes (including blurred vision, double vision, loss of vision)
- Eye pain
- Muscle stiffness, spasms, weakness
- Poor coordination
- Trouble walking or maintaining balance
- Weakness in one or more limbs
- Bladder problems (including urgency, hesitancy, incomplete emptying, incontinence)
- Bowel problems (including constipation )
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty swallowing
- Forgetfulness, memory loss, confusion, difficulty concentrating or solving problems
- Heat (including hot weather, hot baths or showers, fever)
- MRI scan —a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the brain and spinal cord
- Sensory evoked potentials—a test that records the electrical responses evoked after a sensory stimulus
- Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)—removal of a small amount of fluid (CSF) from around the spinal cord to check for white blood cells, antibodies, and proteins
- Blood tests to rule out other diseases that may mimic MS (eg, B12 deficiency, Lyme disease )
- Urine tests
- Visual evoked potential test —to look for problems in the brain that affect vision
- Relieve symptoms
- Prevent relapses
- Delay disability
- Slow disease progression
- Corticosteroids—to reduce inflammation and shorten MS flare-ups
- Interferon beta —used to suppress the immune system
- Glatiramer acetate —to help prevent MS relapses by modifying the function of the immune system
- Intravenous immunoglobulin (a type of antibody)
- 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
- Give your child her medicines as prescribed.
- Have your child avoid hot weather and hot baths and showers.
- Be sure that she gets adequate rest.
- Encourage your child to exercise regularly.
- Have her learn stress reduction techniques.
Try to have your child avoid infection. You can do this by:
- Teaching good hand washing techniques
- Staying away from people who are sick
- Cooking food thoroughly
Multiple Sclerosis Association of America http://www.msassociation.org/
National Multiple Sclerosis Society http://www.nationalmssociety.org/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html/
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada http://www.mssociety.ca/
Alan R. Multiple sclerosis. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated March 19, 2010. Accessed July 9, 2010.
American Association of Neurological Surgeons. 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 July 9, 2010.
Children’s Hospital Boston. Multiple sclerosis. Children’s Hospital Boston website. Available at: http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site775/mainpageS775P0.html . Accessed July 9, 2010.
De la Rocha K. Plasmapheresis. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated November 9, 2009. Accessed July 9, 2010.
DynaMed Editorial Team. Multiple sclerosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated May 27 , 2010. Accessed July 9, 2010.
Munger KL, et al. Body size and risk of MS in two cohorts of US women. Neurology. 2009;73(19):1543-1550.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Pediatric (child) MS. National Multiple Sclerosis Society website. Available at: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/pediatric-ms/index.aspx . Accessed July 9, 2010.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Treatments. National Multiple Sclerosis Society website. Available at: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/what-we-know-about-ms/treatments/index.aspx . Accessed July 9, 2010.
University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital. Multiple sclerosis. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital website. Available at: http://www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/conditions/multiple%5Fsclerosis/index.html . Updated June 17, 2010. Accessed July 9, 2010.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 06/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/60/2012 -