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What is the prognosis for multiple sclerosis (MS) in children?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is believed to progress more slowly in children than in adults. A 2002 study showed that out of 116 people who were diagnosed with MS before the age of 16, just over half (about 50%) had secondary progressive MS (SPMS) after 23 years.

Physical disability from MS is not common in children. Small studies show that about five years after having their first symptoms, only 13% to 15% of children with MS have some type of physical limitation caused by the disease. Trouble thinking, learning and remembering things (often called cognitive difficulties) may be more common, and is currently believed to impact 30% to 40% of all children with MS.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.