Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in Children

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Contact the Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Related Disorder Program

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease, a disorder in which the body's immune system reacts against itself and attacks its own healthy cells and tissue. In MS, the immune system reacts against the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.

The main target of the attack is myelin, the protective coating around nerve cells. Myelin is similar to insulation around an electrical wire. It helps nerve cells to send information from one place to another in the CNS.

Attacks on myelin create inflammation and scars (also called plaques or lesions) throughout the CNS. The scars can slow or interrupt the flow of information along nerve cells, resulting in the symptoms of MS.

Once considered a strictly “adult” condition, MS is now being diagnosed earlier, and it’s estimated that as many as 10 percent of patients with MS start developing symptoms before they’re 18.

There’s not yet a cure for MS. Treatment options for MS focus on controlling the immune system and helping people manage symptoms.

Care for multiple sclerosis

At Boston Children’s Hospital, our Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders Program provides expert care for your whole child. Our program is led by Mark Gorman, MD, one of the few physicians in the country to complete formal fellowship training in both pediatric neurology and multiple sclerosis.

Make an appointment

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944