Paediatric multiple sclerosis and antibody-associated demyelination: clinical, imaging, and biological considerations for diagnosis and care.

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The field of acquired CNS neuroimmune demyelination in children is transforming. Progress in assay development, refinement of diagnostic criteria, increased biological insights provided by advanced neuroimaging techniques, and high-level evidence for the therapeutic efficacy of biological agents are redefining diagnosis and care. Three distinct neuroimmune conditions-multiple sclerosis, myelin-oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated disease (MOGAD), and aquaporin-4 antibody-associated neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (AQP4-NMOSD)-can now be distinguished, with evidence from humans and animal models supporting distinct pathobiological disease mechanisms. The development of highly effective therapies for adult-onset multiple sclerosis and AQP4-NMOSD that suppress relapse rate by more than 90% has motivated advocacy for trials in children. However, doing clinical trials is challenging because of the rarity of these conditions in the paediatric age group, necessitating new approaches to trial design, including age-based trajectory modelling based on phase 3 studies in adults. Despite these limitations, the future for children and adolescents living with multiple sclerosis, MOGAD, or AQP4-NMOSD is far brighter than in years past, and will be brighter still if successful therapies to promote remyelination, enhance neuroprotection, and remediate cognitive deficits can be further accelerated.

View the full article @ The Lancet. Neurology

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