It is well known that multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system that mostly starts in the second to third decade. In the present study, we reviewed our own observations of the clinical and paraclinical features in the 36 of 890 (4.04%) MS patients whose symptoms started before 16 years of age. The average age at onset of the disease in these 36 patients was 12.9 years. In 18 patients, the disease onset was monosymptomatic. Diplopia and sensory disturbances were the most common initial manifestations and occurred in 27.7% of cases. Twenty-one patients (59%) had a relapsing and 11 patients (30.5%) had a secondary progressive course. On the last evaluation, the EDSS score was above 5 in 11 patients and it was below 5 in 21 patients. As a result of this study, we concluded that childhood onset MS does not significantly differ from that it has been typically seen in adults in terms of major clinical manifestations and course of disease.
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Accepted: June 25, 2002
Received in revised form: June 11, 2002
Received: May 1, 2001
© 2003 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.