Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center

The Jacobs Neurological Institute, world renowned for treating patients diagnosed with MS, runs one of six Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence in the United States. The centers are part of a network sponsored by the National MS Society. Our center represents a collaborative effort between the National MS Society, the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, the Jacobs Neurological Institute and the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. It is located in a newly renovated wing at the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo.

MS in children: Western New York has one of the highest prevalence rates of Multiple Sclerosis in the United States. The prevalence of pediatric MS in this region may also be among the highest in the US. Although MS is often considered an "adult" disease, as many as 10,000-15,000 American children may have Multiple Sclerosis. Up to five times that number may experience a single episode of demyelination ("CIS") affecting the brain, spinal cord, or optic nerves.

Services: Children with demyelinating conditions including Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM), transverse myelitis, optic neuritis, Devic's disease and multiple sclerosis are evaluated and treated in this clinic. A multidisciplinary team provides comprehensive care and services for each child. Our team includes: pediatric and adult neurologists with expertise in demyelinating conditions, pediatric physical, occupational and speech therapists, a social worker, multiple sclerosis nurse, neuropsychologist, and pediatric neuroradiologist. Neuro-ophthamologic services are also available through the center.

Research and Treatment: There are many therapies available to help reduce the symptoms of MS and establishment of diagnostic standards for pediatric MS is underway. At present, treatment of pediatric multiple sclerosis is based on known treatments used in adult MS, as little research has been performed on the treatment of children who suffer from MS. The six centers selected by the National MS Society represent a collaborative network which will perform clinical and basic science research to gain a better understanding of pediatric MS and provide efficacious therapies and the highest standards of treatment for children with MS. Collaborative efforts with researchers at the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) and in the Departments of Neuropsychology, Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Pharmaceutical Sciences are also in progress.