$19.4 Million in New Research Projects Launched - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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The Northern California Chapter works to improve the quality of life for the 84,000 people affected by MS in Northern California and raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.

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$19.4 Million in New Research Projects Launched

November 1, 2013

Nov 01, 2013

$19.4 MILLION IN NEW RESEARCH PROJECTS LAUNCHED TO FIND SOLUTIONS FOR EVERYONE AFFECTED BY MS

-- Latest in the Society’s relentless research effort to Stop MS in its tracks, restore function, and end the disease forever

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has committed another $19.4 million to support up to 38 new MS research projects. These new awards are part of a multi-pronged research strategy across a full spectrum aimed at stopping MS in its tracks, restoring lost function, and ending the disease forever. More than $479,000 of these funds are allocated for scientists in the Northern California area. This commitment is the latest in the Society’s relentless research effort to find solutions for everyone affected by MS. Through the collective efforts of each person in the MS movement, the Society invested over $48 million dollars alone in 2013 to fund 380 research projects around the world.

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. Here in Northern California MS affects more than 84,000 people. Worldwide, over 2.3 million people live with the unpredictable challenges of multiple sclerosis.

“We strive to pursue all promising research paths and collaborate worldwide to drive progress,” says Janelle Del Carlo, President of the Society’s Northern California Chapter. “We are focused on three priority areas, including progressive MS, where no therapies currently exist; nervous system repair—where we’re so close to solutions that can restore function that MS has taken away; and wellness and lifestyle, where advancements can change quality of life with MS on a daily basis.”

To find the best research with the most promise, the National MS Society relies on more than 100 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. Dr. William Talbot, PhD, of Stanford University, has received a research grant to discover how the messenger RNA for myelin basic protein, the major protein in myelin, is transported from inside the cell out to myelin.

“Research is the Society’s highest priority – through it, we find the answers to questions, and ultimately the solutions needed,” said Del Carlo. “We are grateful to these scientists whose work is moving us closer to freeing the world of MS.”

“Without the support of the National MS Society, we would not be able to pursue these critical leads,” said Talbot, Society grantee and lead investigator of the project.

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 helped lead to the development of many of these therapies, and continues to be a driving force of MS research. These new projects add substantially to the research goals outlined in the Society’s Strategic Response to MS.

About the Northern California Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The Northern California Chapter of the National MS Society was chartered in 1954 and provides comprehensive programs, services and advocacy to assist and empower the more than 84,000 people who are affected by MS annually. The chapter is also a driving force of research for the prevention, treatment and cure of MS and contributes funds to support 350 National MS Society research projects worldwide – including almost $12 million in critical MS research initiatives locally at J. David Gladstone Institutes, UCSF, Stanford, UC Davis and UC Berkeley. The Chapter has offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, Central Valley and Silicon Valley.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts 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 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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