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Society Commits Nearly $7 Million for Targeted Research Projects and Rescue Funds for those disrupted by COVID-19

December 8, 2021

The National MS Society recently began funding 13 new research projects focusing on detecting MS at its earliest stages, before obvious symptoms appear. The projects are a result of the Society’s first Request for Applications that targets a critical gap in Pathways to MS Cures priorities of stopping MS, restoring lost functions, and ending the disease by preventing more cases. This targeted research initiative on early detection, released in collaboration with the MS Society of Canada, is key to being able to both stop the disease at its earliest stages, before it injures the nervous system, and to prevent its onset.
“We will do whatever it takes to identify MS before it takes hold so people can get on a treatment as early as possible to minimize disability caused by MS,” says Cyndi Zagieboylo, President and CEO of the National MS Society.
Among the new projects funded are:
  • ones by Harvard and University of British Columbia investigators who are using long-range health data to detect early, unrecognized warning signs of MS;
  • researchers at Sweden's Karolinska Institute who are mapping out windows of exposure to explain how combinations of risk factors may lead to MS; and
  • University of California, San Francisco researchers who are developing profiles of early exposures to infectious agents such as viruses to understand whether they play a role in triggering MS later.
A portion of the Society’s new $7 million investment went toward research “rescue” supplements to 22 of its funded investigators to enable critical work that had been disrupted by COVID-19 to continue with additional time and funding.
Download a Summary of New Research Projects (.pdf)
Download a list of all Society-funded research projects, sorted by location (.pdf)
Download a list of all Society-funded research projects, sorted by topics (.pdf)

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. Currently there is no cure. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include disabling fatigue, mobility challenges, cognitive changes, and vision issues. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize disability. Significant progress is being made to achieve a world free of MS.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The National MS Society, founded in 1946, is the global leader of a growing movement dedicated to creating a world free of MS. The Society funds cutting-edge research for a cure, drives change through advocacy and provides programs and services to help people affected by MS live their best lives. Connect to learn more and get involved:, Facebook, X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or 1-800-344-4867.


© 2024 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.