Buffalo, N.Y. -- Research into pediatric multiple sclerosis at
the University at Buffalo and Women and Children's Hospital of
Buffalo is getting a boost from New York State motorists who
purchased custom license plates bearing the National Multiple
Sclerosis Society logo.
UB's Jacobs Neurological Institute is receiving $10,000 from the
license plate sales, which have taken place since 2004. The
customized plates are the result of efforts by the National MS
Society Upstate New York Chapter to create awareness and raise
money to support pediatric MS research across the state. UB and
Stony Brook University, which also is receiving a donation from the
license plates sales, are the only two New York State universities
in the National Network of Pediatric MS Centers.
"The MS Society Logo Plate Revenue program will be used in
continuing our prospective studies focusing primarily on outcomes
and risk factors related to pediatric multiple sclerosis," says
Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, UB professor of neurology in the
School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and director of The
Pediatric MS Clinic at WCHOB. "We are performing ongoing research
evaluating visual and neuropsychological outcomes as well as
occupational therapy/physical therapy outcomes."
In previous research, Weinstock-Guttman and her colleagues
evaluated MRI outcomes in pediatric patients with MS in comparison
to adult MS patients, and found that the disease was more
aggressive in children.
Since 2006, the pediatric MS clinic at UB and WCHOB has provided
care to more than 250 children from Western New York, New York
State, the U.S. and as far away as England and Saudi Arabia. The
clinic's multidisciplinary approach to pediatric MS means that all
aspects of patient care, including involvement in research studies,
is fully integrated, says Mary Karpinski, medical social worker at
the clinic. "We make sure that patients and their families get all
the services they need," she says.
Western New York has one of the highest prevalence rates of MS
in the nation: whereas the U.S. incidence rate is 133 cases per
100,000 people; in Western New York it is 267 cases per 100,000
Although MS is often considered an "adult" disease, as many as
10,000-15,000 American children may have multiple sclerosis.