In Treating Multiple Sclerosis, Kids Are Just Small Adults

About 5–10% of all MS cases are diagnosed before age 18. Traditional teaching was that they should be treated with the least risky (read least effective and least well-tolerated) disease- modifying-therapies (DMTs). Fingolimod is the first and only DMT that is FDA-approved to treat pediatric MS. Should we use it and other highly effective drugs “first line?”

A new study weighs in. Researchers identified 80% of all MS cases in Sweden and found that 549 (about 5%) were of pediatric onset. They concluded that these patients, compared to adults, had more active disease, took longer to reach important disability milestones (31 vs 26 years), but did so at an earlier age (47 vs 60 years).

There is a window of opportunity for early aggressive treatment of multiple sclerosis at all ages. I believe we should not miss it.

See the article by McKay et al in Neurology.

Read More