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National MS Society Commits $19.4 Million in 38 New Research Projects

November 5, 2013

Latest in the Society’s relentless research effort to stop MS in its tracks, restore function, and end the disease forever

The National MS Society has just launched 38 new MS research projects, with multiyear commitments totaling $19.4 million. This commitment is the latest in the Society’s relentless research effort to find solutions for everyone affected by MS. Through the collective efforts of each person in the MS movement, the Society invested over 48 million dollars alone in 2013 to fund 380 research projects around the world.

“While we pursue all promising research paths and collaborate worldwide to drive progress,” says Timothy Coetzee, PhD, Chief Advocacy, Services & Research Officer. “We are also focused on progressive MS where no therapies currently exist; nervous system repair – where we’re so close to solutions that can restore function that MS has taken away; and wellness and lifestyle, where advancements can enable people with MS live their best lives.”

When the Society makes research commitments that span into future years, the money is not yet in hand to meet those needs. Contributions to the Society’s NOW Campaign are vital to fuel these projects as the work progresses in future years.  We’re driving multi-pronged research across a full spectrum to stop MS in its tracks, restore lost function, and end the disease forever.

The new projects include a clinical trial to test whether ibudilast, a re-purposed therapy, can protect the nervous system and slow or stop progressive MS; a study to determine if dance as a form of exercise improves physical activity, walking, balance and fatigue in people with MS; and a project examining whether potential benefits of vitamin D therapy depend on an individual’s genes. Read summaries of all the new projects here (.pdf).

To find the best research with the most promise, the National MS Society relies on more than 100 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.

The new research 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. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. 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. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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