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National MS Society Invests Over $10.5 Million in New Research to Stop Multiple Sclerosis, Restore Function and End MS Forever

October 11, 2016

Explorations of myelin repair strategies, physical activity and dietary approaches are among the new leads being explored to move us closer to a world free of MS.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has committed more than $10.5 million to support an expected 42 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 – for every single person with MS.

This financial commitment is the latest in the Society’s relentless research efforts and part of a projected investment of $50 million in 2016 alone, to support more than 380 new and ongoing studies around the world. The Society pursues all promising paths to drive research breakthroughs in MS to fuel life-changing treatments and everyday solutions that are crucial for people to live their best lives.

Just a few of the new cutting-edge research projects include five studies exploring different aspects of how to promote the repair of nerve-insulating myelin to restore function in MS; a study at Ohio State exploring whether increasing physical activity levels can help reverse cognitive problems; a study at Mt. Sinai testing a dietary approach to treating MS; and two policy studies looking at factors driving the escalating costs of MS medications. One new commercial partnership is a London-based project propelling development of treatments to protect the nervous system from MS-related injury. 

“These new research investments are intended to answer questions that will accelerate breakthroughs that change the world for people with MS,” noted Bruce Bebo, PhD, National MS Society’s Executive Vice President, Research. 

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 that Society funds fuel 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 just several decades ago – and continues to be a driving force of MS research.

Read more about the new research awards.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. 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. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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