A link between pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis and obesity?


  • Children, particularly boys, with pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (POMS), had significantly higher body mass index (BMI) compared to non-neurologic controls and healthy controls without POMS.

Why this matters

  • Between 3–10% of patients with multiple sclerosis experience disease onset in childhood (<18 years of age) and are classified as having POMS.

  • There is a purported link between childhood obesity and the development of POMS. A plausible biological mechanism could be that a low-grade inflammatory state induced by obesity could result in increased neuroinflammation.

  • However, studies to date in children of different nationalities have produced conflicting results, and further investigation into the association between overweight and obesity and POMS is warranted.