Brenda Banwell, MD, Discusses Treatment Options for Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis

Brenda Banwell, MD, Chief, Division of Neurology, Professor of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said that there are 3 areas of treatment associated with pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS).

Brenda Banwell, MD, Chief, Division of Neurology, Professor of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said that there are 3 areas of treatment associated with pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS). The first is the treatment of the acute attack. The acute attack, or relapse, is treated the same in both pediatric and adult cases with corticosteroids or immunoglobulin. The second treatment area is chronic multiple sclerosis where first-line therapies are utilized like Interferon beta 1a, Interferon beta 1b, and glatiramer acetate. Finally, there is escalation therapy, which can be treated with natalizumab. International consensus guidelines and shared care models are used by clinicians to treat patients because there are no clinical trials for the treatment of pediatric MS today.

“Within the next few years we are going to see the first trials in pediatric onset multiple sclerosis,” said Dr Banwell. “New therapies, particularly ones that are oral, will be brought to trial for pediatric onset MS patients so, that we can start to gain the level of evidence for children with MS that we have for adults with the disease. I think that is going to be our major advance in the next few years.”