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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, 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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