Environmental and Genetic Risk Factors for Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis


About this study

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.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

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).

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Jan-Mendelt Tillema, M.D.

Closed for enrollment

Contact information:

Jessica Sagen M.A.


More information


Publications are currently not available

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