Alexander Wallerson was 12 years old when he saw a popular movie with his mother. Now 26, he remembers that specific day vividly. It was the first time he experienced the signs of multiple sclerosis (MS).”I walked like I was drunk,” says Wallerson, who lives in New Brunswick. “I was limping but not in pain.”
His mother, a nurse, was concerned and brought him to their family doctor. Imaging tests revealed that Wallerson had relapsing-remitting MS.
It’s estimated that more than 8,000 American children are currently fighting MS. The most common presentations of the disease include visual impairment, transverse myelitis, arm-leg weakness, sensory disturbances, inflammation of the spinal cord, or balance problems. And like most diseases, early intervention offers the greatest hope of mitigating patients’ symptoms.