Multiple Sclerosis In Children - An Overview

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Little children are prone to diseases which is sad. Imagine a little child going through severe pains that are even heavier than a mature person to bear. No matter how critical the condition might be, parents won't let loose nor neglect a cherishable life, so all protocols for life-saving at all costs must be met.

If your child suffers vehemently as a result of adverse illness, be aware that around the globe there are millions like you. Worry less but do the needful. This article centres on discussing one of the many diseases affecting children known as multiple sclerosis. Learn about this and gather tips for healthy living.

What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the body's own immune system fights against itself by attacking its own healthy cells and tissues. This condition usually affects the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. There's a protective coating around nerve cells known as myelin, which is the main victim of the attack. Myelin can be compared to electrical wire insulation.  It helps nerve cells to send information from one place to another in the central nervous system.

When myelin is attacked, it creates areas of inflammation called lesions in the whole central nervous system.

Multiple sclerosis comes about as a result of lesions slowing down or interrupting the flow of information nerve cells.

What Are The Causes Of Multiple Sclerosis?

The exact cause of multiple sclerosis remains an enigma. Definitely, multiple sclerosis is not a contagious disease and it's not influenced by one thing particularly. Below is a multi-step process step on the possible causes:

Causes Of Multiple Sclerosis
  • Gene: Parents who are more susceptible to disease can transfer this disease through genes to their children and as such they inherit it.
  • Environmental factor: This disease is just like a virus being in its crystal form inactive unless it is triggered by something that stimulates it. This disease can remain dormant in the body and can only be revealed when the body is struck with an infection or is exposed to certain drugs or toxins. What truly triggers this in patients is a mystery.

Scientists and researchers are working tirelessly to find out the specific genes involved and how they interact. Since there's no cure, they are also digging deeper into a number of potential environmental and hormonal triggers to see if they will discover a permanent solution to this disease cure!

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Multiple Sclerosis?

There's always a difference on an individual display of symptoms depending on the location of the central nervous system inflammations. Common symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Exhaustion
  • Changes in bladder or bowel function
  • Tingling or other change in sensation
  • Blurry vision or other changes in vision
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Short attention span
  • Poor judgement
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Trouble learning and remembering information.

Sometimes these symptoms can affect your child's academic excellence, make sure you work with the child's school and medical team to help address any problems.

For younger children, going through this chronic unpredictable illness can be overwhelming and emotional turmoil. They might express the signs Ina different way such as;

  • Sudden increase or decrease in appetite
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Irritability
  • Feeling of sadness
  • Low energy

Don't keep these signs away from your paediatrician when observed.

How Are Children Being Treated?

The treatment for Multiple sclerosis in children involves three categories and they are:

  1. Treatment of active inflammation: when there's active flare up of inflammation, steroids are often given. During severe relapses, plasma exchange is used. This treatment removes antibodies from the blood that may be attacking the myelin.
  2. Prevention of further relapses: to prevent further relapses, medications used as immunotherapies or immunosuppressants. Options available for relapse prevention are injectables, oral medications, and infusion medications.
  3. Treatment of symptoms related to multiple sclerosis: medications used to treat these symptoms differ depending on symptoms caused by MS relapses. During active inflammation, this medication may be used or needed for the long term. For mood and cognitive symptoms, psychiatrists and psychologists will treat it while occupational, speech, and physical therapy are used to support recovery from symptoms.

Conclusion

Multiple sclerosis in children has no cure, children facing this condition should remain in medication to help prevent further relapses. In circumstances like this, parents need to be stronger than ever in order to render all necessary assistance the child needs.

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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