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What are the Signs of Multiple Sclerosis in Children?

Autumn Rivers
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) has long been known as a condition that tends to appear mostly in young adults, typically after age 20, but before age 40. Unfortunately, more children than before have been diagnosed with this condition, many before the age of 12. The good news is that diagnosing the disease earlier means that treatment can be offered sooner, but there are many troubling symptoms that can occur with Multiple Sclerosis in children. They often include vision problems, coordination issues, and cognitive disturbances.

One of the most obvious signs of Multiple Sclerosis in children has to do with vision. Some children begin to lose eyesight in one eye when an optic nerve becomes inflamed. Others may notice double vision, inability to see colors, and pain when moving the eye. Many people without Multiple Sclerosis experience uncontrolled movements of the eye occasionally, but children with this condition may notice this problem occurring quite frequently. If any of these symptoms suddenly occur in children, a trip to the primary care doctor or eye specialist should be arranged.

Another sign of Multiple Sclerosis in children may be sudden issues with coordination that do not appear to have an explanation. Clumsiness, weakness, dizziness, and trouble balancing can all be symptoms of MS fatigue, muscle spasms, and leg and arm numbness are also symptoms that may contribute to problems with coordination. Of course, some children may notice these signs just after a hard workout, such as running for miles, or after days of little sleep. Therefore, it is important to note whether there could be another reason for these signs besides Multiple Sclerosis in children before heading to a doctor to get the problem checked out.

Many children with MS eventually find it difficult to concentrate in school, and may also have trouble remembering things. While parents might not notice this kind of cognitive disturbance immediately, it may become apparent when grades suddenly drop for no obvious reason. Of course, sudden fatigue and vision loss do not usually help improve grades, so a drop in academic achievement is often one of the first signs that parents notice in their children. Speech may also sound stilted, with a somewhat monotone voice and occasional outbursts of loudness when speaking. Such changes may become obvious to teachers, friends, and peers over time if they are not immediately noticeable to parents, which means that those with constant contact with the child may help in getting a case of Multiple Sclerosis in children diagnosed.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Autumn Rivers
By Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for WiseGEEK, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.

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Autumn Rivers

Autumn Rivers

Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for WiseGEEK, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.
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