Restoring What's Been Lost - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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Restoring What's Been Lost

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Just a few short years ago, there was little belief that nervous system repair was even possible. Through the Society’s tireless efforts and multi-million dollar funding, there is not just belief, but a whole new field that has emerged to pursue strategies to repair the nervous system and restore function to people with MS.

Potential cell therapies and myelin repair strategies are now in clinical trials, and creative new rehabilitation strategies and symptom management techniques are being explored to maximize abilities and to treat troubling symptoms.

We are making significant progress in restoring function to people with MS, particularly in our priority areas of nervous system repair and lifestyle/wellness:

  • Two mouse studies in the U.S. and Italy showed potential of stem cells derived from the skin for growing new myelin and for reducing nervous system damage (read more).
  • The first Barancik Prize winner innovated technology to search on–the-shelf drugs for myelin repair potential; a clinical trial is now starting based on a drug uncovered by this system. Read more
  • A clinical trial showed strong evidence that a specific type of memory training improves learning in people with MS and benefits other aspects of quality of life (read more). The Society is funding this team in other research on restoring cognitive function.
  • To drive additional progress toward restoring what’s been lost in MS, in 2013 the Society also initiated funding for a clinical trial to determine whether aerobic exercise can improve cognitive impairment in people with MS.
  • The Society is partnering with the University of Miami and Accera, Inc. to test novel “Medical Food” for MS cognitive impairment.
  • The Society invested in commercial therapy development programs through Fast Forward, focusing on novel therapies to protect the nervous system from MS damage and/or stimulate myelin repair. These include CuroNZ’s NRP2945, ENDECE Neural’s NDC-1308, Karo Bio AB’s ERbeta agonists, and Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc.’s Selective Inhibitors of Nuclear Export (SINE) compounds.

But more must be done to give back what has been lost. We must find ways to repair the damage that’s been done through nervous system repair, including myelin repair, and help people regain function through rehabilitation and both physical and cognitive therapies. Here’s how:

  • Understand how nerves and myelin work normally, and stimulate repair
  • Aggressively pursue clinical trials of new cell therapies and other therapeutic approaches to rebuild the nervous system
  • Ensure that innovative rehabilitation techniques are developed to maximize function, and develop better ways to reduce MS symptoms, including psychosocial symptoms
  • Provide data on optimal health care delivery and policy to fuel advocacy efforts to improve quality of care and quality of life

Read more about our successes and goals for restoring function to people with MS.

Research news about restoring what's been lost

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