Multiple Sclerosis is the most common neurological disease among young adults in United States, with 350,000 and 400,000 of Americans diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis disease is a demyelinating of the central nervous system which can cause a range of symptoms, including spasticity, movement disorders, fatigue, impaired bladder and bowel dysfunction, pain, depression, visual disturbances, cognitive difficulties, and dysphagia.
The clinical course of Multiple Sclerosis is usually characterized by episodic acute periods (recurrent exacerbations or attacks), gradual deterioration, or both. Episodes of neurological multiple sclerosis symptoms are often followed by neurological deficits. However, the progress and severity of symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis are unpredictable and vary from person to person, with a different degree of limitation of activities.
Multiple Sclerosis has been regarded for long time as a disease of young people, often diagnosed between 20 and 40. However, more and more younger sufferers come to light, and 5% of the total number of Multiple Sclerosis cases are involving children under 16. Multiple Sclerosis in childhood was equally prevalent 20 years ago, but with the advent of new technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging, is it normal that nowadays the number of children diagnosed is increasingly high.
We know so little about this disorder in children that even now there is a delay in diagnosis, and most children with symptoms at an early age, are typically not diagnosed until their early maturity. Early diagnosis is more important than it was 20 years ago, because now, there are disease-modifying drugs that can slow disease progression. Most drugs used to treat Multiple Sclerosis in adults are also used to treat children, although more needs rebuke to determine their safety and efficacy in the ms treatment of young people.
Children living with Multiple Sclerosis
Studies show that the disease appears to be more prevalent in men until the age of 12, but after puberty it reflects a gender imbalance, with more girls diagnosed. The explanation could be the existence of a possible hormonal links with Multiple Sclerosis. Vision problems, coordination and balance seem to be predominant symptoms. Children and most youngsters are diagnosed with relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis.
Like adults, children with Multiple Sclerosis can lead a completely normal life. Because they have contracted the disease from a young age does not necessarily mean that symptoms will finish earlier. In fact, studies show that the disease could be less aggressive in children. They can go to school, participate in employment full time and can have their own children. Psychological disorders can occur, especially during difficult age – in adolescence, a time when life is confusing enough already.
Some of the simplest tasks can be more difficult during relapses. Sports, going to the cinema with friends, making new friends or even going on a date can be all some major challenges. If you are a child newly diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, you probably do not have a clue how to tell your friends about this. How they react and how you will deal with their reaction? There is no right or wrong way to handle this situation.
As a parent, how much you tell children about his illness? Children can be hyper sensitive and even the smallest sense can worsen mood so it’s very important for parents to not allow them to believe that this is a terrible family secret. Most therapists recommend to tell the truth, taking into account what you think your child is able to understand. Older children will learn everything they need to know and something more, usually via the Internet, so honesty is always the best policy.