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The purpose of this study is to define the natural course of disorders that cause the loss or destruction of myelin in nerve tissue in childhood as related to the diagnosis of childhood multiple sclerosis (MS). Some children with other acute demyelinating disorders may have recurrences of their disease without evolving to MS, and some patients with recurrent episodes are eventually diagnosed as having MS. This makes the diagnosis of MS in relapsing cases difficult. This research will be helpful in identifying risk factors for subsequent diagnosis of MS MSwith a longer-term goal of helping establish criteria for making earlier diagnosis of childhood MS possible, so as to start preventive treatment before the loss of neurological function from the disease.
Patients, newborn through age 18, who have been diagnosed with a demyelinating disorder – including acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), post-infectious encephalomyelitis, optic neuritis, transverse myelitis, Devic’s disease and MS.
Boys: Newborn through 18 years
Girls: Newborn through 18 years
Each participant will take part in an initial telephone interview with a research investigator to explain the study and obtain permission for further contacts relative to their current and future health status to collect data longitudinally. Participants will be contacted annually for a follow-up telephone interview to update their health information. Participants also may opt to visit the research clinic once a year for follow-up examinations.
Duration: 5 years
Department of Pediatrics
Multiple Sclerosis and Demyelinating Disease (PDF)
Gulay Alper, MD
To get started, please contact:
Gulay Alper, MD
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
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