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The New York City- Southern New York Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange and Sullivan counties and raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.

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Team Recruiting People with MS to Donate Skin Samples to Generate Stem Cells for MS Research in New York City and Long Island

May 16, 2013


People who volunteer to donate skin samples will be making a very special contribution to important research efforts now and in the future to better understand disease mechanisms, develop therapeutic interventions and determine whether transplanting cells is a potential treatment to restore function that has been lost to MS. The research is funded by The NYSCF, New York Stem Cell Science and The New York Community Trust.

Stem cells are called “pluripotent” because they can become any kind of cells within the human body. Recently, a team co-funded by the National MS Society, transplanted cell derived from human skin into the brains of mice with a disorder that prevents them from growing new myelin, the insulating material  that surrounds nerve fibers and which is damaged in MS. They found that the transplanted cell developed into myelin-making cells that formed new myelin quickly and efficiently. Read more here.

To further explore such findings requires the development of disease-specific stem cell “lines” – a group of stem cells that are grown in dishes in the laboratory and can be reproduced indefinitely. The NYSCF is seeking to develop “stem cell arrays” much like a microarray technology that is used to analyze numerous genes simultaneously. These arrays will make it possible for researchers to study stem cell lines from many individuals at once in the laboratory. The team is gathering skin cells from 2,500 people with various diseases, including MS, to study the biology of stem cells, the biology including genetics and mechanisms of action behind the disease and the possibility of replacing or transplanting stem cells as a treatment for the diseases.

Eligibility and Details: Participants should be at least 18 years old. Those people with a history of keloid formation (excessive growth of scar tissue at the site of a healed skin injury) or a bleeding disorder are excluded.

Participants will provide written informed consent. A local anesthetic is applied and a tissue sample is taken from the upper leg or arm, in a process that takes approximately half an hour. To protect privacy, the biopsy specimen will be sent to the laboratory without the individual’s name or private information.

Contact: To learn more about the enrollment criteria for this research and to find out if you are eligible to participate, please contact the NYSCF Human Subjects Research Office at (212) 927-1801.

Participants may volunteer to undergo biopsies at:
Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York
New York, NY

About the New York City – Southern New York Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The New York City – Southern New York Chapter of the National MS Society is committed to helping the 10,000 people living with multiple sclerosis in the five boroughs and Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange and Sullivan counties continue moving their lives forward. The chapter raises funds locally to support the Society’s critical research initiatives and to provide hundreds of comprehensive support services and educational programs for people living with MS, their family and friends. For more information, visit www.MSnyc.org.The New York City – Southern New York Chapter of the National MS Society is committed to helping the 10,000 people living with multiple sclerosis in the five boroughs and Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange and Sullivan counties continue moving their lives forward. The chapter raises funds locally to support the Society’s critical research initiatives and to provide hundreds of comprehensive support services and educational programs for people living with MS, their family and friends. For more information, visit www.MSnyc.org.

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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