We strive to fund the best, most relevant research in the U.S. and abroad aimed at moving us closer to a world free of MS. In many cases, we support “investigator-initiated” research — creative investigators who propose research projects based on the most compelling questions driving the MS research field. But we also open the door to new possibilities in MS research by “targeting” special areas of promise. The Society and the MS experts who advise us identify highly promising areas in MS research, programs and care that are ripe for exploration and could dramatically impact future disease management and lead us to a cure.
Promise: 2010 — Funding Vital MS Research and Care
In late 2004 the Society launched a targeted research campaign called Promise: 2010. The campaign raised $32 million to support four vital, underexplored areas:
- Repairing and protecting the nervous system The Nervous System Repair and Protection Initiative brought the dream of protecting and repairing brain tissue and restoring function within our grasp
- Helping young people with MS Six Pediatric MS Centers of Excellence set the highest standard for pediatric MS care, and gathered critical data to help researchers better understand the course that MS takes from the very beginning of the disease
- Tracking long-term impacts of MS on quality of life The Sonya Slifka MS Longitudinal Study followed a large, diverse sample of people with MS, tracking the long-term impacts of the disease to improve quality of life
- Mapping out patterns of MS damage to develop better treatments The MS Lesion Project was a major collaboration of investigators worldwide who sought to understand the damage MS does to the nervous system and ultimately improve its treatment.
Read about the outcomes of this initiative in an article from the Summer 2010 issue of Momentum. (.pdf)
Speeding Treatments to People with MS
This exciting initiative involves industry-based pursuit of new drug development to increase the number of drugs in the pipeline, speed drugs to clinical trials, and repurpose existing drugs to treat MS
Other Success Stories
Targeting specific areas for attention also helped to speed the search for novel experimental therapies and for MS genes. Read more about these success stories in gender differences and genetics, both of which were targeted in the past but which are now mainstream areas of MS research.