67| Neuropsych Bite: Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis – A Conversation With Dr. Lana Harder

When multiple sclerosis (MS) is diagnosed prior to age 18, it is considered rare and referred to as pediatric MS.  Although they share a name, pediatric MS differs somewhat from MS in pattern and severity of its symptoms, as well as its cognitive sequelae.  To further clarify the neurological, cognitive, and behavioral profile of pediatric MS, John and Ryan spoke with Lana Harder, Ph.D., ABPP-CN, who is a founding member and current Co-Director of the Children’s Medical Center Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Clinic.

A pdf of the transcript for this episode is available here.

Topics Covered

  • Overview of pediatric MS
  • How pediatric and adult MS differ, including disease severity and types
  • Prevalence of pediatric MS
  • How pediatric MS differs from other pediatric demyelinating diseases
  • Cognitive sequelae of pediatric MS
  • Lesion pattern in pediatric MS
  • Fatigue and pediatric MS
  • Psychiatric diagnoses and pediatric MS
  • Longitudinal outcomes
  • Environmental factors contributing to pediatric MS onset
  • Designing neuropsychological evaluations for patients with pediatric MS
  • Recommendations for managing cognitive and emotional symptoms in pediatric MS

About Lana

Dr. Lana Harder is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist and pediatric neuropsychologist.  She is the Manager of Neuropsychology Service and Neuropsychology Training Director at Children’s Medical Center Dallas.  She holds dual faculty appointments as Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at University of Texas Southwestern.  Additionally, she was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN) and the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN).  She is also a Clinical Neuropsychology Ambassador to the American Board of Professional Psychology Early Career Psychologist Task Force.

Selected Resources and References

Dr. Peter Arnett on Adult MS (Episode 62)

MacAllister, W. S., Christodoulou, C., Milazzo, M., Preston, T. E., Serafin, D., Krupp, L. B., & Harder, L. (2013). Pediatric multiple sclerosis: what we know and where are we headed?. Child Neuropsychology19(1), 1-22.

Tan, A., Hague, C., Greenberg, B. M., & Harder, L. (2018). Neuropsychological outcomes of pediatric demyelinating diseases: a review. Child Neuropsychology24(5), 575-597.