A new treatment under clinical trial at Brigham and Women's Hospital offers new hope for the 8,000-10,000 U.S. children with multiple sclerosis (MS.)

Currently FDA-approved for adult MS, the breakthrough medication, Novartis' fingolimod (brand name Gilenya), was found by BWH investigators to reduce the relapse rate in children by 82 percent over a two-year period. The new drug, which is delivered in pill form, has also been found to reduce the annual relapse rate of MS by 67 percent in adults. That result comes in sharp contrast to the 38 percent reduction achieved with interferon injections, the current standard of care for pediatric MS. 

“The numbers are better than any adult study I’ve seen."

Tanuja Chitnis, MD, Director of the Pediatric MS Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Investigators say the treatment could be a game-changer in terms of how clinicians manage the disease, which can cause debilitating symptoms in young people, including poor mobilization, numbness, and crippling fatigue among them.

Read more in the Boston Herald