Better recovery in children may be linked to the activation of genes that, in turn, impair the activation of immune cells driving inflammation in MS.
The study, “Clinical and transcriptional recovery profiles in pediatric and adult multiple sclerosis patients,” was published in the journal Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.
Pediatric-onset MS (POMS), where the disease affects patients younger than 18 years old, comprises 2–5% of all MS cases. Compared with adult-onset MS (AOMS), POMS patients have a higher relapse rate but the disease is slower to progress.
Few studies have addressed whether POMS and AOMS patients show differences in the initial stages of disease in terms of severity and recovery, and whether these could be linked to differences in gene activity in blood cells.
To answer these questions, a group of researchers at the Sheba Medical Center, in Israel, performed a retrospective analysis of clinical data from 2,153 RRMS patients (1,500 women, mean age at onset of 27.3 years). Of these, 269 were POMS patients (mean age at onset 1of 5.6 years) and 1,884 were AOMS patients (mean age at onset of 29 years).
They analyzed data from patients after their first and second relapses, as well as after six months of recovery. Patients who received disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) between their first and second relapses were excluded from the second relapse analysis.
Of the 2,153 RRMS patients analyzed after the first relapse, 998 received DMTs and were excluded from the second relapse analysis. The remaining patients started DMTs 3.2 years after the second relapse.
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