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Much more research is needed to better understand the impact and causes of childhood onset demyelinating diseases. At the Partners Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center, we are conducting research which includes a search for genes that predispose children to MS and biological markers in the blood that can distinguish various forms of MS. We are conducting active projects to study the impact of MS on vision, childhood development and quality of life. Using clinical and MRI measures, we assess the effects of treatment on slowing the disease course in children.

We are involved in several collaborative research studies including a Longitudinal Pediatric MS study conducted with the National Network of Pediatric MS Centers of Excellence and studies with International Pediatric MS Study Group.

You may be asked if you would like to participate in some of our research studies. Participation is not mandatory for your child’s care. For more information about our research studies, or to enroll your child, please call (617) 726-2664.


Some of the questions that our research studies ask are: 

1. Why does MS occur in children?

2. Is MS the same in adults and children?

3. What are the best treatments for MS in children?

4. How does MS affect children’s development?

5. How does MS affect mood and school performance in children?

6. Is there a blood test for MS in children?

7. Why does NMO-SD occur, and how do we best treat it?

8. Why do MOG antibody associated disorders occur, and who do we best treat these?

9. Can we develop a blood test to predict relapses in children with MS, NMO-SD and MOG antibody associated disorders?


Ongoing Clinical Trials – No Longer Enrolling:

PARADIGMS: Safety and Efficacy of Fingolimod in Pediatric Patients With Multiple Sclerosis

Efficacy, Safety and Pharmacokinetics of Teriflunomide in Pediatric Patients With Relapsing Forms of Multiple Sclerosis (TERIKIDS)

Below is a list of our recent publications and reviews on MS and demyelinating disorders in children:


  • Treatment of MOG-IgG-associated disorder with rituximab: An international study of 121 patients. Whittam DH, Cobo-Calvo A, Lopez-Chiriboga AS, Pardo S, Gornall M, Cicconi S, Brandt A, Berek K, Berger T, Jelcic I, Gombolay G, Oliveira LM, Callegaro D, Kaneko K, Misu T, Capobianco M, Gibbons E, Karthikeayan V, Brochet B, Audoin B, Mathey G, Laplaud D, Thouvenot E, Cohen M, Tourbah A, Maillart E, Ciron J, Deschamps R, Biotti D, Rostasy K, Neuteboom R, Hemingway C, Forsyth R, Matiello M, Webb S, Hunt D, Murray K, Hacohen Y, Lim M, Leite MI, Palace J, Solomon T, Lutterotti A, Fujihara K, Nakashima I, Bennett JL, Pandit L, Chitnis T, Weinshenker BG, Wildemann B, Sato DK, Kim SH, Huda S, Kim HJ, Reindl M, Levy M, Jarius S, Tenembaum S, Paul F, Pittock S, Marignier R, Jacob A.Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2020 Jun 2;44:102251. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2020.102251. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32629363.












  • Evidence for a casual relationship between low vitamin D, high BMI, and pediatric-onset MS. Gianfrancesco MA, Strigh P, Rhead B, Shao X, Xu E, Graves JS, Chitnis T, Waldman A, Lotze T, Schreiner T, Belman A, Greenberg B, Weinstock-Guttman B, Aaen G, Tillema JM, Hart J, Callier S, Ness J, Harris Y, Rubin J, Candee M, Krupp L, Gorman M, Benson L, Rodriguez M, Mar S, Kahn I, Rose J, Roalstad S, Casper TC, Shen L, Quach H, Quach D, Hillert J, Bäärnhielm M, Hedstrom A, Olsson T, Kockum I, Alfredsson L, Metayer C, Schaefer C, Barcellos LF, Waubant E; Network of Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Centers. Neurology. 2017 Apr 25;88(17):1623-1629. PMID: 28356466.






  • Distinct effect of obesity and puberty on risk and age at onset of pediatric MS. Chitnis T, Graves J, Weinstock-Guttman B, Belman A, Olsen C, Misra M, Aaen G, Benson L, Candee M, Gorman M, Greenberg B, Krupp L, Lotze T, Mar S, Ness J, Rose J, Rubin J, Schreiner T, Tillema J, Waldman A, Rodriguez M, Casper C, Waubant E; U.S. Network of Pediatric MS Centers.. Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2016 Nov 4;3(12):897-907. PMID: 28097202;PMCID: PMC5224818.








  • Characteristics of Children and Adolescents With Multiple Sclerosis.Belman AL, Krupp LB, Olsen CS, Rose JW, Aaen G, Benson L, Chitnis T, Gorman M, Graves J, Harris Y, Lotze T, Ness J, Rodriguez M, Tillema JM, Waubant E, Weinstock-Guttman B, Casper TC; US Network of Pediatric MS Centers. Pediatrics. 2016 Jul;138(1). PMID:27358474; PMCID: PMC4925083.


  • Dietary salt intake and time to relapse in paediatric multiple sclerosis.Nourbakhsh B, Graves J, Casper TC, Lulu S, Waldman A, Belman A, Greenberg B, Weinstock-Guttman B, Aaen G, Tillema JM, Hart J, Ness J, Rubin J, Krupp L, Gorman M, Benson L, Rodriguez M, Chitnis T, Rose J, Barcellos L, Waubant E; Network of Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Centers. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2016 Jun 24. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 27343226.






  • A case-control study of dietary salt intake in pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis. McDonald J, Graves J, Waldman A, Lotze T, Schreiner T, Belman A, Greenberg B, Weinstock-Guttman B, Aaen G, Tillema JM, Hart J, Lulu S, Ness J, Harris Y, Rubin J, Candee M, Krupp LB, Gorman M, Benson L, Rodriguez M, Chitnis T, Mar S, Barcellos LF, Laraia B, Rose J, Roalstad S, Simmons T, Casper TC, Waubant E. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2016 Mar;6:87-92. PMID: 27063630; PMCID: PMC4830915.








  • Protective environmental factors for neuromyelitis optica. Graves J, Grandhe S, Weinfurtner K, Krupp L, Belman A, Chitnis T, Ness J, Weinstock-Guttman B, Gorman M, Patterson M, Rodriguez M, Lotze T, Aaen G, Mowry EM, Rose JW, Simmons T, Casper TC, James J, Waubant E; US Network of Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Centers.Neurology. 2014 Nov 18;83(21):1923-9. PMID: 25339213; PMCID: PMC4248458.


























  • Common viruses associated with lower pediatric multiple sclerosis risk. Waubant E, Mowry EM, Krupp L, Chitnis T, Yeh EA, Kuntz N, Ness J, Chabas D, Strober J, McDonald J, Belman A, Milazzo M, Gorman M, Weinstock-Guttman B, Rodriguez M, Oksenberg JR, James JA; US Pediatric MS Network. Neurology. 2011 Jun 7;76(23):1989-95. PMID: 21646624; PMCID: PMC3109881.


  • Pediatric multiple sclerosis. Chitnis T, Krupp L, Yeh A, Rubin J, Kuntz N, Strober JB, Chabas D, Weinstock-Guttmann B, Ness J, Rodriguez M, Waubant E. Neurol Clin. 2011 May;29(2):481-505. PMID: 21439455.











  • Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. Tenembaum S, Chitnis T, Ness J, Hahn JS; International Pediatric MS Study Group. Neurology. 2007 Apr 17;68(16 Suppl 2):S23-36. Review. PMID: 17438235.





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