March 24, 2003
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has just committed $13.4 million to support 31 new research projects by top scientists investigating many aspects of multiple sclerosis (MS). Added to present commitments, the Society will spend some $30 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.
In addition to the 31 new projects, the Society launched three new Collaborative MS Research Centers, committing $2.48 million to three teams of investigators from diverse fields focusing on promising avenues of research related to MS genes, tissue repair and diagnostic technology.
“These new research projects hold incredible promise for advancing our understanding of MS,” says Stephen C. Reingold, PhD, Vice President of Research Programs. “We’ve invested $380 million to find the cause and cure for MS since our founding 56 years ago -- an investment into basic and clinical research that is responsible for 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.
Two of the newly funded projects focus on the Society’s targeted research initiative on gender differences in MS. Another new grant supports an innovative study in Australia designed to determine whether exposure to sunlight protects against the development of 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.
© 2003 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society