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- Being exposed to certain viruses such as 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
- Numbness or tingling in the face or limbs
- Impaired vision in one or both eyes, including blurred vision, double vision, and 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, and incontinence
- Bowel problems, including constipation
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty swallowing
- Forgetfulness, memory loss, confusion, and difficulty concentrating or solving problems
- Heat, including hot weather, hot baths or showers, and fever
- Lumbar puncture —to evaluate cerebrospinal fluid that protects the spinal cord and brain
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Sensory evoked potentials test
- Visual evoked potential test
- 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
- 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 medications as prescribed.
- Have your child avoid hot weather and hot baths and showers.
- Be sure that your child gets adequate rest.
- Encourage your child to exercise regularly.
- Have your child 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
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada http://www.mssociety.ca
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.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014
- Update Date: 09/30/2013