Published May 22, 2012
The Department of Neurology is receiving $10,000 from the sale of New York State license plates bearing the National Multiple Sclerosis Society logo to boost research into pediatric MS.
The money will go toward research conducted at UB and Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo (WCHOB).
The custom plates, which have been sold since 2004, are the result of efforts by the National MS Society Upstate New York Chapter to raise awareness about, and money for, pediatric MS across the state.
UB and Stony Brook University, which also is receiving a donation from the license plate 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,” said Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, professor of neurology and director of the Pediatric MS Center at WCHOB.
“We are performing ongoing research evaluating visual and neuropsychological outcomes as well as occupational and physical therapy outcomes.”
Although many people consider MS an adult disease, it may affect as many as 10,000 to 15,000 American children and adolescents.
In previous research comparing MRI outcomes, Weinstock-Guttman and her colleagues found that pediatric-onset MS is more aggressive than adult-onset MS.
Western New York has one of the highest 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.
Since 2006, the Pediatric MS Center at UB and WCHOB has cared for 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, are fully integrated.
“We make sure that patients and their families get all the services they need,” said Mary Karpinski, medical social worker at the clinic.