Background: Chronic demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) are
autoimmune conditions that, although rarely fatal, may lead to severe disability. Among these diseases,
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optica (NMO) are particularly important and subject
of worldwide research. MS and NMO are chronic types of CNS disease, with recurrent episodes of
demyelination. For many years, these two conditions were considered to be only one, but lately it is
known that they have different epidemiological, physiopathological and prognostic characteristics.
The present study aims at reviewing the specificities of MS and NMO affecting patients before they
complete 18 years of age.
Methods: Literature review on data about MS and NMO in patients below the age of 18 years.
Results: There are no clinical trials for any drug used to treat MS and NMO in children or adolescents.
Data are mainly on anedoctal cases, case series and recommendations from experts. At present, there
is no evidence-based treatment to be recommended for patients with MS and NMO before the age of
Conclusion: Despite being a particularly vulnerable population for severe disability in the future,
there are no evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of MS and NMO in children and adolescents.