How MS Affects Kids May Differ by Race12/08/10
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A new U.S. study finds
that multiple sclerosis impairs certain cognitive functions more
severely in black children than white children.
The findings may lead to new types of individualized treatment,
said the researchers at the University of Alabama at
They reviewed cognitive assessments conducted on 20 black and 22
white children with MS, a chronic neurological disorder, and found
that the black children appeared to be at higher risk for problems
in the areas of language and complex attention, which is the
ability to juggle multiple tasks at once.
"We don't yet understand the biological reasons, but the bottom line is treatment options must be reevaluated and be aggressive enough, especially with black patients, to prolong quality of life for as long as possible," lead author Kelly Ross, a psychology doctoral degree candidate, said in a UAB news release.
The study appears in the Dec. 7 issue of the journal
Because children's nervous systems are still developing, MS may
disrupt cognitive function more in young people than in adults, the
Previous research in adults has found that MS more severely
affects some functions in blacks than whites.
The U.S. National Multiple Sclerosis Society has more about
MS in children.
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