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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2013 June;65(3):307-23

language: English

Inflammatory demyelinating diseases in children: an update

Fernández Carbonell C. 1, 2, Chitnis T. 1, 2

1 Partners Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center Department of Child Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA;
2 Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA


Inflammatory demyelinating diseases (DD) affecting the central nervous system (CNS) are increasingly recognized in children. During the past decade significant advances have been made in this field. Pediatric DD are important not just because 3-5% of MS cases are diagnosed in childhood, but also because their pathogenesis may provide unique insights into the earliest events and triggers of acquired CNS DD. The purpose of this article is to offer an update into pediatric DD for the general pediatrician and child neurologist. Current evidence on epidemiology, pathology, diagnosis, management and prognosis are reviewed for both monophasic (ADEM and CIS) and polyphasic/chronic DD (MS and NMO). We also review new research advances including novel biomarkers and treatments from the latest literature.

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