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As Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month comes to a close, many still may be unaware of the disease. What are the symptoms? How prevalent is it, and what resources are available for affected children?

The word “arthritis” is actually a broad term that covers over 100 musculoskeletal disorders, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Juvenile arthritis is among them. More common than most people think, the condition actually affects almost 300,000 children in the United States. This makes juvenile arthritis more common than juvenile diabetes and cystic fibrosis combined. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), juvenile idiopathic arthritis is one of the most prevalent types of arthritis among people under the age of 18. Other common forms include juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile chronic arthritis.

On the whole, the condition affects girls more often than boys. The CDC

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Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic and often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. There are approximately 400,000 people living with the disease currently in the United States. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society: “Multiple Sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. The exact antigen — or target that the immune cells are sensitized to attack — remains unknown, which is why MS is considered by many experts to be ‘immune-mediated’ rather than ‘autoimmune.’”

Each person experiences MS differently, with unpredictable symptoms and severity of symptoms. “No two people have exactly the same symptoms, and each person’s symptoms can change or fluctuate over time. One person might experience only one or two of the possible symptoms while another person experiences many more.” Common

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