Current international trends in the treatment of multiple sclerosis in children:impact of the COVID-19 pandemic


Background: Only recently has the first disease-modifying therapy been approved for children with multiple sclerosis (MS) and practice patterns including substantial off-label use have evolved. Understanding attitudes towards treatment of paediatric MS and whether this has changed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is vital to guide future therapeutic trials and for developing guidelines that reflect practice. Methods: We performed an online survey within the International Paediatric Multiple Sclerosis Study Group between July and September 2020. The survey was sent to 130 members from 25 countries and consisted of five sections: demographic data, treatment, disease modifying therapies and COVID-19, outcome and three patient cases. Results: The survey was completed by 66 members (51%), both paediatric neurologists and adult neurologists. Fingolimod and β-interferons were the most frequently used disease-modifying therapies, especially among paediatric neurologists. Almost a third (31%) of respondents had altered their prescribing practice due to COVID-19, in particular at the beginning of the pandemic. Conclusions: The survey results indicate a tendency of moving from the traditional escalation therapy starting with injectables towards an early start with newer, highly effective disease modifying therapies. The COVID-19 pandemic only slightly affected prescribing patterns and treatment choices in paediatric MS.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Biosciences
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license Funding: Financial support without any role in the design and conduct of this study was obtained from Stockholm City Council, Stiftelsen Barnforskningen vid Astrid Lindgrens Barnsjukhus and Sällskapet Barnavård.
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19,MS,pediatric disease,modifying therapy
Publication ISSN: 2211-0348
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2024 08:24
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2021 09:38
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Related URLs: https://linking ... 211034821005447 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-11
Published Online Date: 2021-09-27
Accepted Date: 2021-09-23
Authors: Sandesjö, Fredrik
Wassmer, Evangeline
Deiva, Kumaran
Amato, Maria Pia
Chitnis, Tanuja
Hemingway, Cheryl
Krupp, Lauren
Pohl, Daniela
Rostasy, Kevin
Waubant, Emanuelle
Banwell, Brenda
Wickström, Ronny



Version: Accepted Version

Access Restriction: Restricted to Repository staff only

License: Creative Commons Attribution


Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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