Narrator: This is Science Today. Among the 400 thousand cases of multiple sclerosis diagnosed in the United States , ten thousand are pediatric cases – and that figure may actually be as high as 20 thousand, since many cases are missed because symptoms are sometimes mild. Once diagnosed, there may also be a lack of information about the pediatric safety and efficacy of drugs used to treat MS in adults.
Waubant: Because MS is mostly an adult disease all the drugs that have been developed for FDA approval have been developed in studies of patients over the age of 18.
Narrator: Dr. Emmanuelle Waubant of the University of California , San Francisco , led the first study of the safety of using the drug interferon to treat MS in children. Now, she's looking into studying environmental factors that may trigger the onset of MS.
Waubant: Because we know that the impact of MS in adults probably pertains to the first 10 or 15 years of life.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.