More MS news articles for February 2001

National Academy of Sciences Releases Strategic Review on Status and Future of MS

National MS Society Commissioned Independent Study

February 16, 2001—To ensure that current MS research is pursuing every valid lead that would expedite the discovery of the cause, cure and better treatments of MS, the National MS Society contracted with the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) in mid-1999 to conduct a comprehensive, independent review of the state and direction of MS research. The goals were to assess what is presently known about multiple sclerosis and recommend strategies that would maintain MS research on a fast-track.   Results of this 18-month study have now been released by the IOM.

Committee Findings

The IOM’s international committee of experts (independent scientists and physicians from research and industry) report that not only is MS research—including that supported by the National MS Society—generally on track, but it is also making important progress toward understanding the disease process and treatment. The committee offered 18 recommendations for future strategies that would keep the pressure on research to unravel the mysteries of the disease. Their recommendations focused on research into the cause, course, and treatment of MS; disease adaptation and management; and building and supporting the MS research infrastructure.

Society Follow-Up

In response, the Society is supporting an international conference of MS research funding agencies. This conference will be hosted by the NAS/IOM in April 2001, and will enable all relevant parties to discuss the report’s outcomes and implications. In addition, the Society’s senior Research Programs Advisory Committee currently is reviewing the report, with an eye toward evaluating and prioritizing the study’s recommendations—and devising strategies for implementing appropriate new programs.

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The National Academy of Sciences advance (unedited) report:

Society research

Research spending