for people ages 3-21 (full criteria)
healthy people welcome
at San Francisco, California and other locations
study started
estimated completion:
Emmanuelle L Waubant



The purpose of this study is to better understand multiple sclerosis (MS) in children and adolescents, to learn if it differs from adult MS and to investigate if genes or environmental exposures or a combination of both put children and adolescents at risk for getting MS.


The overall goal of this project is to determine whether well-established environmental and genetic risk factors for adult onset MS play an important role in susceptibility to pediatric-onset MS. Our study design is based on the hypothesis that genetic influences, specifically variation at HLA-DRB1 and other confirmed non-MHC MS loci, as well as environmental exposures including EBV infection and tobacco smoke, contribute to disease risk. In addition, we will also examine the relationship between serum levels of 25(OH) vitamin D3 and prior vitamin D status, and risk for pediatric onset MS. Finally, we will investigate whether specific G x E, and other multivariable relationships influencing risk exist for pediatric-onset MS. There are 16 collaborating sites other than UCSF that will enroll cases and controls for this study.


Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Clinically Isolated Syndrome Demyelinating Disease Sclerosis Multiple Sclerosis


For people ages 3-21

Children are eligible for this study as cases if:

  • They have MS or clinically isolated syndrome (CIS):
  • MS: As defined by the 2010 McDonald criteria for diagnosis of MS (Polman 2010),
  • CIS: A first demyelinating event indicating high risk for MS (i.e., one clinical event involving the spinal cord, the optic nerve, the brainstem or cerebellum, or occasionally the hemispheres) and at least 2 silent T2 bright areas on a brain or spinal cord MRI (at least one must be in the brain); AND
  • They are three years of age or older; AND
  • Disease onset occurred before 18 years of age.

Patients are not eligible for study participation if:

  • Disease onset occurred more than 4 years prior to the opportunity to enroll; OR
  • They have had an organ transplant; OR
  • They are known to have neuromyelitis optica (NMO).

Children are not eligible to participate as pediatric controls if:

  • They are two years of age or younger; OR
  • They are 22 years of age or older; OR
  • They are known to have MS or another demyelinating disease (for example, neuromyelitis optica or acute disseminated encephalomyelitis); OR
  • They have a biological family member who has been enrolled as a control; OR
  • They have an immediate, biological family member (parent/sibling) who has been diagnosed with MS; OR
  • They have an autoimmune disorder (except asthma or eczema); OR
  • They have had an organ transplant; OR
  • They have a chronic neurological condition with major disability (this does not include, for example, migraine, controlled seizures, and mild learning disabilities such as ADD or ADHD).


  • UCSF Pediatric MS Center
    San Francisco California 94143 United States
  • Pediatric MS Clinic, Children's Hospital, Loma Linda University
    San Bernardino California 92408 United States


accepting new patients by invitation only
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Francisco
Lead Scientist
Emmanuelle L Waubant
Study Type
Last Updated