January 14, 2009 --
People who develop multiple sclerosis before age 18 tend to suffer more symptom relapses than those who develop the disease later. Researchers in Boston found those who had MS as children experienced the symptoms three times as often as those who developed the disease in adulthood.
MS is an inflammatory disease in which the protective coating covering nerve cells degenerates. It usually first appears in people between ages 20 and 40.
Fewer than 11 percent of MS patients report symptoms appearing before age 18.
The findings are published in the Archives of Neurology.