|PeterMarggraf, Diagnosed at 12 years old|
The term “Pediatric MS” has been growing traction with the healthcare industry for some time now. With new technology, tests, and a growing knowledge of Multiple Sclerosis, it’s getting easier and easier to diagnose patients with the disease and people are getting diagnosed younger and younger. In 2001 patients under the age of 15 were “allowed” to be diagnosed with the disease and the youngest child diagnosed so far was diagnosed at just two months old! To see a teen or pre-teen get diagnosed with MS is no longer unheard of, a tragedy, but it does happen…
It is estimated that only about 8,000 children have the disease worldwide but it is believed that even most adults with MS actually had the disease as a child, it just didn’t present or the symptoms went unnoticed. For those who do present at an early age, their MS seems to be much more aggressive. Either way, much more money is being put into the research of pediatric Multiple Sclerosis, in fact, the National MS Society just donated 2.5 million dollars to research for pediatric MS this month. The reason pediatric Multiple Sclerosis is tricky and deserves much more research, is that the medications for treating Multiple Sclerosis were only tested on adults so there is no official dosing information for children under the age of 15.
On a more personal note, I do think this is just devastating. Those of us who have Multiple Sclerosis know how hard it is physically, mentally, and emotionally, so imagine dealing with all of that at 12 years old or a little later when children are going through all sorts of hormonal changes, a hard enough point in life as it is! My young adult life was greatly impacted by MS but at least I had my childhood. MS hit me when I was probably in the best shape for it, so under 15? I could not even try to imagine. Some kids are using the internet (Facebook) to connect to other kids who have MS but other kids have a hard time connecting with others for the same reasons that most adults do, some people just don’t want to think about it.
CLICK HERE to read the original article by
Karen Weintraub, Special for USA 8/29/13
9:26 a.m. EDT July 27, 2013
Did you notice any MS symptoms as a child or teen before you were diagnosed? Let me know below!