March 22, 2002
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has just committed $11.9 million to support 26 new research projects by top scientists investigating many aspects of multiple sclerosis (MS). Added to present commitments, the Society will spend some $32 million this year to fund over 300 new and ongoing MS investigations – more MS research than any voluntary health organization in the world – to cure, treat, and better understand this unpredictable disease of the central nervous system.
“We’re thrilled with the scope and depth of these research efforts,” says Stephen C. Reingold, PhD, Vice President of Research Programs]. “These projects range from basic studies of nerve fiber damage and repair, to clinical trials of promising therapies. Our investment of $320 million in basic and clinical MS research since our founding 56 years ago is paying off in the rapid progress we’re seeing now.”
There are now five drugs on the U.S. market (Avonex, Betaseron,Copaxone, Novantrone and Rebif) that can impact the underlying disease course in people with the more common forms of MS. But none of these drugs can stop or reverse the disease. The National MS Society funded much of the basic research that led to the development of several of these drugs, and continues to advance research that will help end the devastating effects of MS.
One of the newly-funded projects is a pilot clinical trial of testosterone in men with MS, a part of the Society’s targeted initiative focusing on gender differences that may provide clues to the disease. Another new grant supports a DNA “library” to speed the search for genes that make people susceptible to MS.
Funds for research awards are provided in large part by contributors
to the nationwide network of local chapters of the National MS Society,
which also provide programs in communities across the U.S.
© 2002 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society