Dateline: March 1, 2001
Five Greater Delaware Valley researchers recently received National MS Society funding to pursue a variety of scientific projects in the coming months. The studies, which were deemed as having high scientific merit and as significant in the fight against multiple sclerosis are among 300 research projects supported by the MS Society in 2001 alone. Projects include those in the following areas:
Infectious Triggers: Understanding how an infectious agent could directly or indirectly trigger MS.
Susan Weiss, Ph.D., at the University of Pennsylvania received $435,511 for her study on the “Role of the immune response in murine coronavirus induced demyelination,” which is understanding the role of immune cells in a virus-induced model of MS in mice;
Glia; Cell Myelin Biology: searching for ways to repair nerve-insulation by studying cells that support nerve cells and make myelin.
Gihan Tennekoon, MD, at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, received $400,181 for his investigation into “Can mesenchymal stromal cells differentiate into oligodendroglia, “which will look at the potential of bone marrow cells to develop into myelin-making cells and possibly repair myelin lost in MS.
Charissa Dyer, Ph.D., at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who received $404,316 to explore “The role of mixed phenotype glia in the CNS,” which will evaluate the biological switch that may turn on or off the ability of myelin-making cells to produce myelin.
Epidemiology: Searching for the cause of MS by studying disease frequency and distribution and exposure to possible MS risk factors
Milton Alter, MD, Ph.D., at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, who received $230,700 for a study on, “Multiple sclerosis frequency in the Arab and Jewish populations in Israel,” through which he will compare rate and characteristics of MS in two populations in Israel, to ascertain factors that may lead to the development of MS.
The Value Of Exercise To Those With MS
Diane Moyer, MD, of Cedar Crest College, Allentown, has received a $27,500 grant to determine whether an intensive program of exercise improves the psychological well-bring and quality of life for people with MS. The project, which runs from January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2001, is a study of 50 people who have MS. Twenty-five of the test subjects are being counseled about the general value of exercise. The other 25 are enrolled in exercise programs that have been tailored to their physical capabilities. These programs include a series of stretches, stationary bicycling, and resistance exercises designed to work different muscle groups. Both groups will receive physical and psychological examinations to determine whether the exercise programs made any difference in feelings of well being. Dr. Moyer’s efforts can result in a new way to improve the quality of life for people with MS.
For more information
about these and other MS research studies, please call the chapter’s Resource
Center at 800-548-4611.