Children with multiple sclerosis should have early MRIs to predict disease worsening

A new nine-year study has found that abnormalities seen on MRI scans in children with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the onset of the condition, and within the first two years, might predict how their disability will worsen.

Researchers followed 123 children in Italy for a nine-year period. They found that damage occurring in the spinal cord, brain, and optic nerve were predictors of greater worsening of disability, with optic nerve damage being the strongest predictor.

The scientists said that these results underline the need to carry out extensive imaging testing early on. The study also found that children given high-efficacy disease-modifying treatments in the first year after diagnosis had lower disease activity during a follow-up nine years later.