Kids' doctors- Dr. John Watts, Jr. - Gastonia PediatricianKids’ doctors on the early symptoms of multiple sclerosis

Kids’ doctors discuss MS. Although multiple sclerosis is a rare condition, it is severe enough that your kids’ doctor recommends knowing the symptoms. It affects the brain and spinal cord by stripping nerve cells of their covering, damaging eyesight and other senses and impairing coordination and physical strength. It’s suspected of being an autoimmune disorder, but no one knows for sure.

In adults as well as children, weakness, tremors, muscle spasms and difficulty walking are some of the possible signs of multiple sclerosis. Changes in vision or other senses, tingling or numb feelings, and having difficulty controlling one’s bowels or bladder are other signs. In addition to these, children may also experience seizures and complete loss of energy.

In the case of children, the disease sometimes begins to take hold after an episode of ADEM (acute disseminated encephalomyelitis), an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord that usually strikes children under the age of ten. Multiple sclerosis tends to progress more slowly in children than in adults.

How MS is diagnosed

These days, doctors diagnose MS using an updated version of the McDonald criteria, looking for evidence of attacks and objective clinical lesions. If these are not present, the doctor needs to see at least one year of symptoms and other evidence of the disease.

Multiple sclerosis is beyond the power of any kids’ doctor to deal with, and requires the care of a specialist. A kid’s doctor may be able to recognize the early symptoms, however, and refer you to a specialist who can diagnose it properly.

Managing MS in children

There is no cure for multiple sclerosis, but there are treatments that can manage the condition, most of which depend on corticosteroids. The most common treatment is an intravenous treatment, a daily dose of methylprednisolone taken for three to five days during attacks. Your kids’ doctor may be able to give you advice on managing the possible side effects of corticosteroids.

There are medications that can prevent MS attacks in adults, and some doctors use them for children at lower doses. Their disadvantage is that they have to be injected, which you will have to learn how to do.

Kids’ doctors in Gastonia, NC

Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a kids’ doctor conveniently located west of Charlotte. It is one of the first medical practices for children in the Gastonia area. Gastonia Pediatric has served three generations of families with personalized care and offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. Gastonia Pediatrics is owned and directed by its own physicians. If you’re in search of a kids’ doctor, you should call today.