-To provide state of the art medical care for children with multiple sclerosis, NMO, ADEM, optic neuritis, transverse myelitis and related demyelinating disorders
-To increase awareness and understanding in the community and amongst healthcare providers about childhood onset MS and demyelinating diseases.
-To conduct research to better understand the causes of and best treatments for MS and demyelinating diseases in children.
Our team offers state of the art medical care for childhood-onset multiple sclerosis and demyelinating disorders. We subscribe to an integrated team approach which includes neurologists, nursing, psychology, rehabilitation and an education team. In addition, we have developed close collaborations with specialists at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Institute and Spaulding Rehabiliation. Our outpatient clinic is held on Tuesday mornings, and inpatient admissions are available if needed. We serve as a local as well as a national and international referral Center for children with demyelinating diseases.
One of our goals is to provide ongoing education for families and patients about childhood-onset MS and demyelinating disorders. We have created specialized educational materials for families and patients. In addition, with the National MS Society, we hold weekend meetings and seminars that combine fun as well as educational activities. Our specialists conduct seminars and presentations for healthcare professionals to increase awareness and understanding of these diseases in children. Dr. Chitnis is a well-recognized expert in the field and has spoken at local, national and international meetings about childhood-onset MS. She sits on the steering committees of the International Pediatric MS Study Group and the Network of Pediatric MS Centers of Excellence .
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 studies which include a search for genes that predispose children to MS and biological markers in the blood that can distinguish various forms of demyelinating disease. We are have 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.