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Society Commits Over $24 Million to 64 New Research Projects to Stop Multiple Sclerosis, Restore Function and End MS Forever

April 15, 2019

labwork-photo-nih.jpg-- A trial of bone marrow stem cells in progressive MS, a cutting-edge study of the influence of gut bacteria, and strategies to increase energy in nerve cells are among new leads being explored

The National MS Society has just committed $24.4 million to support 64 new MS research projects and training fellowships. These are part of a comprehensive approach to accelerate breakthroughs by stopping multiple sclerosis, 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 more than $35 million in 2019 alone to support new and ongoing studies around the world, in line with our Research Priorities and commitment to supporting pathways to a cure for MS. To date, the Society has committed more than $1 billion in research funding.
 
Just a few of the of the new cutting-edge research projects include a phase II clinical trial at Tisch MS Research Center of New York to see if stem cells derived from individuals' own bone marrow can inhibit immune mechanisms and augment repair of nerve-insulating myelin in progressive MS; a University of Edinburgh team attempting to enhance energy production in nerve cells to protect them from damage in MS; a study in Milan, Italy analyzing how gut bacteria influence immune cell activity in the brain; and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center researchers in Boston asking whether treating sleep apnea can reduce MS-related fatigue. Download a summary of the new research projects
 
“These strategic research investments strengthen the Society’s comprehensive approach to addressing research priorities that will accelerate breakthroughs and build pathways to cures for MS,” noted Bruce Bebo, PhD, National MS Society’s Executive Vice President, Research. 
 
“Funding research gets us closer to a cure,” said Cyndi Zagieboylo, the Society’s President and CEO. “As our new MS prevalence research shows, there are nearly 1 million people living with MS in the U.S. -- that’s twice as many as previous estimates, and it means twice as many people need solutions. If you are among the hundreds of thousands of people who participate in our fundraising events such as Walk MS, then the progress we’re seeing now is thanks to you. Ending MS will take all of us.”
 
The Society is the largest private funder of MS research in the world and is recognized as a global leader in driving MS research, stimulating studies worldwide, leveraging opportunities, fostering collaboration, and shaping the research landscape to find solutions for the urgent needs of people with MS.
 
To find the best research with the most promise, the 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.
 
Read More
Download a summary of the new research projects (.pdf)
Read about newly funded high-risk pilot research projects
 
 

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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