BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A Yale School of Medicine study proposes a new possible method of spotting multiple sclerosis or MS before the symptoms appear in children. This new prevention method targets and is centered around MRI brain scans, which can help spot abnormal changes associated with the degenerative disease.
The Utility of MRI Brain Scans in Spotting MS
This latest research is based on the unexpected signs of MS in the brains scans of 38 children living in six countries. Reportedly, they all underwent MRIs for various reasons, the most common one being headaches. However, a closer look at the results revealed something else as well.
The team states that all of these scans showed abnormal changes in their brains, modifications that had been associated with multiple sclerosis by previous research. These were also detected before the children started presenting clinical symptoms of the disease.
The detection of MS risks through MRI brain scans before symptoms set in has been termed RIS or radiologically isolated syndrome. However, this was reportedly the first time that RIS was spotted in children, having before been detected only in adults.
“Children with RIS may represent a high-risk group of children that needs to be followed more closely for the later development of clinical multiple sclerosis,” states the study lead, Naila Makhani.
According to the research paper, around 42 of the percent of the children that presented RIS presented the first clinical symptoms of MS within two years of their MRI brain scans.
This also seems to indicate a faster development of MS in children than in adults. The lead also points out that five of the kids in the study received an approved treatment to try and prevent the disease. However, she notes that their number is too small to try and draw conclusions about its possible utility and effects.
Still, Makhani maintains that detecting RIS in children might help create better expert guidelines for following kids that present risks of developing MS later on.
Detailed study findings are available in a paper in the journal Neurology: Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation.
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