If your child is struggling with a neurological condition, so many things can seem impossible. Finding the right treatment. Living without pain. Hitting developmental milestones.
At Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, doctors specialize in the impossible, and the robust neurosciences program — ranked one of the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report— their mission is to help children overcome the challenges that seem impossible.
While most people think MS only affects adults, it's also diagnosed in children as well. Dr. Halori Bains is a pediatric neurologist and the only physician in West Michigan who specializes in treating pediatric MS. She joins the Fox 17 Morning Mix to share how Helen DeVos Children's Hospital helps these kids and their families through their medical journey.
MS is an auto-immune condition affecting the brain and spinal cord, resulting in sudden onset symptoms on the extremities like an altered sensation in the arms, legs, stomach, bowel, bladder, vision, and beyond.
People typically are diagnosed in their 20's or 30's, maybe older. However, in the pediatric world, people can also get their diagnosis in their teenage years, sometimes as young as 12 years old. Kids and teens' biggest symptom when having MS is present with loss of sensation in their extremities.
An MS diagnosis is made through a referral to a neurologist who specializes in multiple sclerosis. They search for a pattern of symptoms, or findings on an exam, and how long the symptoms last. They also do MRI studies of the brain and spinal cord, get a spinal tap to evaluate spinal fluid and do additional lab work to find out more about the patient's condition.
Multiple sclerosis is a life-long condition, and there is no cure. However, with an early diagnosis and the right medication, the progression of MS can be slowed down and patients can lead normal lives. Patients can also access physical therapists and psychologists to help support them on their medical journey.
The community can get involved to learn more about Multiple Sclerosis and support the community by going to the MS Walk in Grand Rapids on April 22. The event will take place outside Aquinas College's Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center, with the walk starting at 10 a.m.
Learn more about Multiple Sclerosis and the treatment options offered by Corewell Health at spectrumhealth.org.