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​National MS Society Commits More than $17 Million to New Research to Stop Multiple Sclerosis, Restore Function and End MS Forever

May 9, 2017

-- Explorations of myelin repair strategies, nerve protection, and a phase 3 trial to test whether a repurposed cholesterol-lowering therapy can slow the course of secondary progressive MS are among the new leads being explored to accelerate research breakthroughs.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has committed more than $17 million to support an expected 43 new MS research projects. These are part of a comprehensive approach to accelerate research breakthroughs that will stop MS, restore lost function and end MS forever.
This financial commitment is the latest in the Society’s relentless research effort, investing a projected $40 million in 2017 alone to support new and ongoing studies around the world. Research breakthroughs fuel the treatments and solutions people with MS need to overcome the challenges of MS today, with confidence and hope for a world free of MS tomorrow.
Just a few of the of the new cutting-edge research projects include a collaborative research center at the University of Utah exploring whether stem cells programmed in the lab from adult skin cells are beneficial for repair of nervous system damage; a clinical trial at Washington University looking at the impact of intermittent fasting on inflammation in people with MS; and a clinical trial in the U.K. to test whether a repurposed cholesterol-lowering therapy can slow the course of secondary progressive MS.  
“These new research investments are intended to answer strategic questions that will accelerate breakthroughs that change the world for people with MS,” noted Bruce Bebo, PhD, National MS Society’s Executive Vice President, Research. 

To find the best research with the most promise, the National MS Society relies on more than 130 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. 

There are FDA-approved therapies that can impact the underlying disease course in people with the more common forms of MS, and the first therapy for treating primary progressive MS was recently approved. However, none of these therapies can stop progression or reverse the damage to restore function. There are still many people with MS who are living without effective treatment options and who continue to face the prospect of progressive disability. National MS Society-funded research paved the way for existing therapies – none of which existed 25 years ago – and continues to be a driving force of MS research.

Read more about the new research awards (.pdf)

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.