Cognitive impairment occurs in children and adolescents with multiple sclerosis: Results from a United States network

Laura Julian, Dana Serafin, Leigh Charvet, Joseph Ackerson, Ralph Benedict, Ellen Braaten, Tanya Brown, Ellen O'Donnell, Joy Parrish, Thomas Preston, Michael Zaccariello, Anita Belman, Tanuja Chitnis, Mark Gorman, Jayne Ness, Marc Patterson, Moses Rodriguez, Emmanuelle Waubant, Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, Ann YehLauren B. Krupp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


In the largest sample studied to date, we measured cognitive functioning in children and adolescents with pediatric multiple sclerosis (n = 187) as well as those with clinically isolated syndrome (n = 44). Participants were consecutively enrolled from six United States Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence. Participants had a mean of 14.8 ± 2.6 years of age and an average disease duration of 1.9 ± 2.2 years. A total of 65 (35%) children with multiple sclerosis and 8 (18%) with clinically isolated syndrome met criteria for cognitive impairment. The most frequent areas involved were fine motor coordination (54%), visuomotor integration (50%), and speeded information processing (35%). A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (odds ratio = 3.60, confidence interval = 1.07, 12.36, P =.04) and overall neurologic disability (odds ratio = 1.47, confidence interval = 1.10, 2.10, P =.03) were the only independent predictors of cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairment may occur early in these patients, and prompt recognition is critical for their care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-107
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of child neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • clinically isolated syndrome
  • cognition
  • demyelination
  • multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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