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In this article


The vision of the National MS Society is a world free of MS. Research on multiple sclerosis was almost nonexistent in 1945, the year a small classified ad appeared in The New York Times: “Multiple Sclerosis. Will anyone recovered from it please communicate with patient.” The ad was placed by Sylvia Lawry, whose brother, Bernard, had been diagnosed with MS, and whose family was frustrated by the lack of treatment options. No one came forth with a treatment, but many came forth with the need and desire to do something about this urgent problem.

In 1946 the National Multiple Sclerosis Society was born, and in 1947 the Society sponsored its first three research projects. Today, the National MS Society is a driving force of MS research, and global research efforts are underway. Research sponsored by the Society and its many partners in government, other MS societies, and the private sector has led to major advances in our understanding and treatment of this complex disease.

The Society provides research training, grant funding, tools, and information resources to support the brightest scientists and physicians exploring questions underlying MS. We offer a spectrum of funding opportunities and resources to support MS investigators at virtually every stage of their careers.

Research objectives

A key objective of the National MS Society is to drive change so that people have effective treatment choices and solutions to the challenges of living with MS. Our Strategic Plan calls for expanding investments and worldwide collaboration to accelerate research progress toward this goal.

Areas of interest


Disease Progression



  • Immunologic basis of MS
  • Neuroprotection
  • Understanding and preventing MS progression
  • Measures of disease activity, imaging, surrogate and biomarkers
  • Pathology of MS
  • Health care delivery and policy
  • Clinical trials, preclinical studies, including commercial partnerships

What's Been Lost


  • Nervous system repair
  • Biology of glia/myelin
  • Cognitive and psychosocial issues
  • Patient management, care and rehabilitation
  • Clinical trials, preclinical studies, including commercial partnerships
  • Health care delivery and policy

MS Forever


  • Infectious triggers and risk factors
  • Genetics and gender differences
  • Epidemiology


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