Historically MS has been viewed as an adult-onset disease and as a
result most MS research, services and support programmes have targeted
Since the 1980s, however, an increasing number of cases of MS have
been recorded in children under 18 years old. Initial symptoms have been
seen as early as 13 months, with diagnosis as young as two years. Now,
thanks to raised awareness of childhood MS amongst neurologists and
because of advances in technology, the number of children diagnosed with
MS is steadily growing.
Nevertheless, as neurologists so rarely encounter childhood MS,
diagnosis may be delayed or more difficult than for adult-onset disease.
Because treatments have not been systematically studied, tested or
approved for children, childhood MS is often treated in the same way as
adult MS. This has highlighted the need for increased international
collaboration and multi-centre studies on paediatric MS and related
The International Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Study Group
The International Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Study Group (IPMSSG)
is a global network of adult and paediatric neurologists, basic
scientists, clinicians, representatives of MS societies and other
organisations, whose unifying vision is to optimise worldwide
healthcare, education and research in paediatric MS and other acquired
inflammatory demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system.
MSIF and several of its member societies have been providing
organisational and financial support to the IPMSSG since its
establishment in April 2006. In this capacity, MSIF leads on
facilitating and coordinating all official communication between the
study group members and committees, drafting official documents,
maintaining contacts databases and developing group mailing lists and
surveys. We have also developed and continue to maintain an IPMSSG website (www.ipmssg.org), through which members can stay up-to-date on
current developments of the study group.