Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria
Print version ISSN 0004-282X
PENA, Joaquín A. et al. Pediatric multiple sclerosis in Venezuela. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2012, vol.70, n.4, pp. 267-270. ISSN 0004-282X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0004-282X2012000400008.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of Venezuelan pediatric patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). METHODS: Database records from the National Program for MS were searched for patients with an established diagnosis of MS whose first symptoms appeared before age 18. RESULTS: The national database held records of 1.710 patients; 3.8% had onset of the first symptoms before age 18. 46.7% were boys, yielding an F:M ratio of 1.13:1. Many children had a disease onset characterized by motor impairment (30.7%), brainstem/cerebellum and spinal cord affectation (27.6%), headache (26%). Less frequent symptoms were sensory symptoms (8%) and optic neuritis (7%). DISCUSSION: Pediatric MS patients in Venezuela represent a significant proportion of all MS cases. The clinical pattern is characterized by motor symptoms at onset, and predominantly monosymptomatic presentation with a relapsing-remitting pattern. This is the first systematic attempt to estimate the prevalence of pediatric MS in Venezuela.
Keywords : multiple sclerosis; demyelinating disorders; children; epidemiology.