Obesity May Be Linked to MS Risk in Children

However, study is preliminary and MS still rare in kids, experts say

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Another expert agreed that MS is unusual in kids.

Dr. Karen Blitz-Shabbir, director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at the Cushing Neuroscience Institute, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System in Manhasset, N.Y, said many MS symptoms come and go over time, so they may be missed in kids.

"This study puts pediatric MS on our radar, but I don't think it is something to worry about," she said. "All children are at very low risk for MS."

As co-director of the Obesity Institute at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Dr. Evan Nadler is on the front line of the childhood obesity epidemic. "It is pretty well established that chronic inflammation can have deleterious effects on other organ systems such as the brain," he said.

While noting that more study is needed to establish a relationship between childhood obesity and MS, he added that "this is one more reason to prevent children from becoming obese."

More information

Learn more about childhood MS at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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