Action Medical Research

Multiple sclerosis: examining early symptoms

An estimated 5% of people with MS suffer their first symptoms before the age of 16. However, there is a severe lack of information on how many children currently have MS, how their illness progresses during childhood, and what sort of treatment works best. Researchers we fund are looking for answers

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 10:00 AM, 6 December 2012 to 5:00 PM, 19 December 2012

Registered Charity in England and Wales (208701)

Check mark Match funded

Campaign target


Amount raised





  • Medical ResearchMedical Research




Evidence suggests at least one in 20 people with MS develops symptoms before the age of 16. It can be difficult to diagnose MS as several other conditions can also cause the same symptoms. MS is a serious illness, which can cause vision problems, difficulties walking, tremors, extreme fatigue and, for some people, problems breathing and swallowing. The earlier treatment can begin, the better.Researchers therefore fear delays in treating children could be causing unnecessary suffering.


The researchers are finding out how many children seek medical help in the UK and Ireland over a 13-month period. They are monitoring each child for two years to see what symptoms they experience and find out which of the children go on to be diagnosed with MS. They hope to identify ways to predict which children are most likely to develop MS. Some of the children are being monitored in more detail to find out more about how MS progresses during childhood.