March 17, 2004
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has just committed $12.4 million to support 23 new research projects, including 4 new Collaborative MS Research Centers focusing on understanding and reversing nerve tissue damage in multiple sclerosis. Added to present commitments, the Society will spend over $30 million this year to fund more than 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 are thrilled with the scope and depth of these new research projects, which hold incredible promise for advancing our understanding of MS,” says Stephen C. Reingold, PhD, Vice President of Research Programs. “We’ve invested $420 million to find the cause and cure for MS since our founding 58 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.
The new research projects focus on many different aspects of MS, including genetic susceptibility, immunology, and rehabilitation. The four new Collaborative MS Research Centers involve top scientists at Cleveland Clinic, Yale, Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic, and focus on myelin and nerve tissue damage and repair. Summaries of the new projects are available in “New Research,” and a list of all research projects currently funded by the National MS Society is available as well.
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.
Copyright © 2004, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society