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$25 Million in New Research Projects Launched to Stop MS, Restore Function, and End It Forever

December 11, 2012

The National MS Society has just committed over $25 million to support up to 51 new MS research projects. These new awards are part of a comprehensive research strategy aimed at stopping MS, restoring function that has been lost, and ending the disease forever.

This financial commitment is the latest in the Society’s relentless research effort, investing an estimated $44 million in 2012 alone to support over 350 new and ongoing studies to move closer to a world free of MS.  Contributions to the Society’s NOW Campaign are crucial to fueling these research initiatives.

The Society’s longstanding investment in basic and translational research has resulted in new treatments and better diagnosis and disease management for people with MS. The Society continues to pursue all promising paths that lead to solutions for everyone affected by MS.

To ensure the scientific merit of each research proposal selected, the National MS Society relies on expert advisory committees that include more than 90 world-class scientists who volunteer their time to carefully evaluate hundreds of proposals every year. The new projects include:
  • Clinical trials including one to determine if green tea added to standard MS therapy can slow nervous system damage;
  • A cross-disease consortium to screen therapies that may have potential for protecting the brain from degeneration;
  • Cutting-edge efforts to transform normal adult body cells into nervous system stem cells that may be used to stimulate repair of nervous system tissues in MS;
  • Tests of an innovative rehabilitation program to improve balance and movement in people with MS; and
  • A novel search for genes that influence who gets MS in the Hispanic/Latino population.
There are nine 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 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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