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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Research

The Mass General Brigham Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center has several ongoing research studies and is also involved in large national and international research efforts to understand why MS and other demyelinating disorders occur in children and how these disorders are interrelated. In addition, we are trying to understand how MS in children is similar to or different from adult MS. This helps us understand whether the same or different treatments should be used. 

Our MS research efforts 

Much more research is needed to better understand the impact and causes of childhood onset demyelinating diseases. At the Mass General Brigham Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center, we are conducting research which includes a search for genes that predispose children to MS and biological markers in the blood that can distinguish various forms of MS. We are conducting active projects to study the impact of MS on vision, childhood development, and quality of life. Using clinical and MRI measures, we assess the effects of treatment on slowing the disease course in children.

We are involved in several collaborative research studies including a Longitudinal Pediatric MS study conducted with the National Network of Pediatric MS Centers of Excellence and studies with International Pediatric MS Study Group.

You may be asked if you would like to participate in some of our research studies. Participation is not mandatory for your child’s care. For more information about our research studies, or to enroll your child, please call 617-726-2664.

Some of the questions that our research studies ask include: 

  • Why does MS occur in children?
  • Is MS the same in adults and children?
  • What are the best treatments for MS in children?
  • How does MS affect children’s development?
  • How does MS affect mood and school performance in children?
  • Is there a blood test for MS in children?
  • Why does NMOSD occur, and how do we best treat it?
  • Why do MOG antibody associated disorders occur, and how do we best treat them?
  • Can we develop a blood test to predict relapses in children with MS, NMOSD, and MOG antibody associated disorders?

Clinical trials & publications

Below is a list of recent publications and reviews on MS and demyelinating disorders in children: