Sandesjö F, Wassmer E, Deiva K, Amato MP, Chitnis T, Hemingway C, Krupp L, Pohl D, Rostasy K, Waubant E, Banwell B, Wickström R
Mult Scler Relat Disord 56 (-) 103277 [2021-09-27; online 2021-09-27]
Only recently has the first disease-modifying therapy been approved for children with multiple sclerosis (MS) and practice patterns including substantial off-label use have evolved. Understanding attitudes towards treatment of paediatric MS and whether this has changed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is vital to guide future therapeutic trials and for developing guidelines that reflect practice. We performed an online survey within the International Paediatric Multiple Sclerosis Study Group between July and September 2020. The survey was sent to 130 members from 25 countries and consisted of five sections: demographic data, treatment, disease modifying therapies and COVID-19, outcome and three patient cases. The survey was completed by 66 members (51%), both paediatric neurologists and adult neurologists. Fingolimod and β-interferons were the most frequently used disease-modifying therapies, especially among paediatric neurologists. Almost a third (31%) of respondents had altered their prescribing practice due to COVID-19, in particular at the beginning of the pandemic. The survey results indicate a tendency of moving from the traditional escalation therapy starting with injectables towards an early start with newer, highly effective disease modifying therapies. The COVID-19 pandemic only slightly affected prescribing patterns and treatment choices in paediatric MS.