National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Reversing damage to regain function.
In progressive stages of MS, there are few or no relapses, and few or no recovery or remission periods when major symptoms improve. Some of the burning questions that are being addressed through research include:
• What factors influence the transition from relapsing stages of MS to progressive MS?
• Can the disease-modifying therapies prevent, delay, or slow long-term MS progression?
• What new therapies will stop progressive MS?
• What causes degeneration of nerve fibers—thought to be the cause of long-term disability—and how can that be stopped or reversed?
A common question is, “Why aren’t there more treatments for progressive MS?” Virtually every therapy approved for relapsing MS has been tested, or is now in testing, in people with progressive forms of the disease. Clinical trials involving people with relapsing MS often rely on counting relapses or doing MRI scans to detect immune activity. Progression is less easily measured, and usually happens over long periods of time. This important difference makes it hard to quickly detect whether a therapy is impacting progression, and thus has made therapy development for progressive MS a challenge.
But the landscape is changing, thanks in part to National MS Society investments and collaborations:
Researchers are exploring mechanisms that drive injury to the brain and spinal cord to expose new potential therapeutic targets along the injury pathways that may stop the damage. These include:
We are relentlessly pursuing the answer to this question each and every day. Identifying and moving solutions forward is how we will succeed in stopping the progression of MS.
Read about what progressive MS means for your treatment options and quality of life.
Here are a few related topics that may interest you
Contact an MS Navigator