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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 4354826, 8 pages
Research Article

Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis in Tunisia: A Retrospective Study over 11 Years

1Research Unit UR12 SP24 and Department of Child and Adolescent Neurology, National Institute Mongi Ben Hmida of Neurology, Tunis, Tunisia
2Faculty of Medicine of Tunis, Tunis El Manar University, 1007 Tunis, Tunisia

Correspondence should be addressed to Nedia Ben Achour; rf.oohay@ruohcaaiden

Received 17 July 2017; Revised 1 October 2017; Accepted 4 October 2017; Published 7 November 2017

Academic Editor: Luca Prosperini

Copyright © 2017 Nedia Ben Achour et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Pediatric multiple sclerosis (pMS) is a rare demyelinating disorder with an onset before the age of 18 years. In this study, we aimed to investigate the characteristics of pMS in Tunisian children. Patients and Methods. We conducted a retrospective study over 11 years (2005–2016) including all patients diagnosed with pMS according to the International Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Study Group (IPMSSG) criteria of 2012 and followed up in a tertiary care research center. Epidemiological, clinical, neuroimaging, laboratory, and therapeutic data were collected and analyzed. Results. There were 21 patients. The male-female ratio was 1 : 3. Mean age at onset was 11 years (range: 3–17 years). Three patients had type 1 diabetes. Polyfocal presentation was preponderant (81%) with motor dysfunction in 57% of patients. Paroxysmal dystonia was noticed in 24%. All patients were diagnosed with relapsing-remitting form. Interferon beta was prescribed in 80% with a reduction of annual relapse rate. Conclusion. The annual incidence of pMS in Tunisian children aged below 18 years could be estimated as 0.05 per 100,000. Singular features in our cohort were the frequent association with type 1 diabetes and the increased occurrence of dystonia. Greater awareness of pMS may be helpful to improve management strategies of children and their families.