Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children with Multiple Sclerosis

Roy Aloni, Alon Kalron, Assaf Goodman, Amichai Ben-Ari, Talya Yoeli-Shalom, Shay Menascu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological autoimmune disease; pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (POMS) represents 5% to 10% of total MS population. Children with POMS may experience attention difficulties due to the disease’s impact on the central nervous system. However, little is known regarding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in POMS, and its relation to cognitive performance. Methods: A retrospective case review was conducted using medical records of 66 children and adolescent patients diagnosed with POMS between 2012 and 2021 in a MS center of a tertiary medical center. All patients had undergone routine clinical neurological examinations and had been assessed for a diagnosis of ADHD by a department pediatric neurologist. In addition, sociodemographic data, disease-related variables, and cognitive performance were collected. Results: Of the 66 patients, 31 (47%) had a diagnosis of ADHD; 29 (44%) had cognitive impairment. Moreover, we identified four different profiles of POMS: those with only ADHD (17, 26%); only cognitive impairment (15, 23%), ADHD and cognitive impairment (14, 21%), and only POMS (20, 30%). A significant difference in disease duration was found among the four profiles [F(3,65) = 8.17, p <.001, η² = 0.29], indicating that patients with ADHD and cognitive impairment were characterized by longer disease duration. Conclusions: ADHD may be prominently involved in POMS, even during the early stages of the disease and early diagnosis is crucial in order to provide appropriate interventions and support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1105-1113
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 2024


  • ADHD
  • adolescent ADHD
  • children
  • cognition
  • comorbidity


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