Oct. 2, 2014 – The U.S. National Multiple Sclerosis Society has committed nearly US$19 million to support an expected 54 new MS research projects. These are part of a comprehensive research strategy aimed at stopping MS, restoring function that has been lost, and ending the disease forever.
This financial commitment is the latest in the Society’s research
efforts to move closer to a world free of MS, investing more than $50
million in 2014 alone to support 380 new and ongoing studies around the
world, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society said.
“So that no
opportunity is wasted, the Society pursues all promising paths, while
focusing on three priority areas: progressive MS, nervous system repair
and wellness and lifestyle.”
Some of the society’s cutting-edge
research projects include a study at Stanford University using skin
cells to produce repair cells for possible future use to restore
nerve-insulating myelin in MS; pre-clinical studies by a commercial firm
(Glialogix) to test the nervous system-protective qualities of an oral
therapy repurposed to address progressive MS; a Mayo Clinic study of
beneficial gut bacteria for clues to a novel therapeutic strategy for
MS; and a wellness study at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign testing whether an exercise program done at home can
increase strength and balance and reduce falls in people with MS.
comprehensive nature of these new research investments is very
exciting," noted Bruce Bebo, National MS Society executive
vice-president of research. "While we’re driving research to stop MS,
restore function and end the disease forever, at the same time we’re
identifying key interventions and solutions that can help people with MS
live their best lives now."
Multiple sclerosis interrupts the
flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the
body. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50,
with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed
with the disease. Worldwide, over 2.3 million people live with the
unpredictable challenges of multiple sclerosis.
"MS research is a
top National MS Society priority, with increasing annual investments to
drive solutions for every person with MS," said Cynthia Zagieboylo,
president and CEO of the Society. "We fund the entire research spectrum,
propelling novel ideas into the lab, translating breakthroughs into
clinical trials, and moving success in clinical trials into new
treatments for people living with MS."
To find the best
research with the most promise, the National MS Society relies on more
than 130 world-class scientists who volunteer their time to carefully
evaluate hundreds of proposals every year. This rigorous evaluation
process assures the Society funds research that delivers results in the
shortest time possible.
There are FDA-approved therapies that
can impact the underlying disease course in people with the more common
forms of MS. However, none of these can stop progression or reverse the
damage to restore function. National MS Society-funded research paved
the way for existing therapies – none of which existed 20 years ago –
and continues to be a driving force of MS research.
on the new research awards visit the National MS Society site.