Multiple sclerosis in childhood: Clinical features of 149 cases

A. Ghezzi, V. Deplano, J. Faroni, M. G. Grasso, M. Liguori, G. Marrosu, C. Pozzilli, I. L. Simone, M. Zaffaroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


From the retrospective study of 3375 patients affected by clinically definite or probable multiple sclerosis (MS), 149 patients were collected with onset of the disease before the age of 16 years (4.4%). Female/male ratio was higher than that of the adult onset MS (AOMS) population (2.2 vs 1.6) particularly at ages of onset after 12 years (3.0, P = 0.007 vs AOMS). Among initial symptoms, those suggesting brainstem dysfunction (25%) were more frequent compared to other systems and compared to AOMs symptoms; motor and sensory disturbances were slightly less frequent (respectively 17.5% and 18.3%). Optic neuritis appeared in 16.5% of cases with onset in childhood and in 16.2% of cases with AOMS, cerebellar disturbances respectively in 9.1% and 7.7%. The first interattack interval and the clinical course of early onset MS did not differ significantly from AOMS. In early onset MS patients with disease duration <8 years, cases with EDSS > 6 were slightly more frequent than in the AOMS group (P = 0.04). The frequency of cases for different levels of disability was similar for disease duration > 8 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-46
Number of pages4
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1997


  • Age of onset
  • Child neurology
  • Frequency
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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