Tuesday, May 08, 2001
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has just committed $10.7 million to support 26 new research projects investigating many aspects of multiple sclerosis (MS). Added to present commitments, the Society will spend an estimated $30 million this year to fund more than 300 new and ongoing MS investigations to cure, treat and better understand this unpredictable disease of the central nervous system.
The Wisconsin Chapter of the National MS Society contributes funds toward this research effort. "We're excited by the promise these new projects hold for bringing answers to MS," said Colleen G. Kalt, Wisconsin Chapter president and CEO. "We've invested $290 million to find the cause and cure for MS since the Society's founding 55 years ago - an investment into basic and clinical research that is responsible for the rapid progress we're seeing now," Kalt added.
There are currently four drugs on the U.S. market (Avonex, Betaseron, Copaxone, and Novantrone) 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 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 newly committed projects include two MS investigations in Wisconsin, representing a total funding of $423,880. These include an investigation at the University of Wisconsin and a pilot grant study at the Blood Center of Southeastern Wisconsin located in Milwaukee. Additional National MS Society funded research ongoing in Wisconsin includes three investigations at the University of Wisconsin, an investigation at the Institute for Viral Pathogenesis and an investigation at Marquette University. Total funding for National MS Society research in Wisconsin is more than $1.7 million.
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. Locally, the Wisconsin Chapter, serves the more than 10,000 people with MS and their families in Wisconsin.
MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system. It is a devastating disease because it strikes during the younger adult years, and slowly steals physical functioning in unpredictable ways. MS affects nearly a third of a million people in the U.S.
The Wisconsin Chapter of the National MS Society is the leading provider of programs for people with MS in Wisconsin and their family members. For more information about MS research, or to contact the Wisconsin Chapter for information about community programs and activities, or volunteer opportunities, please call (262) 547-8999 or toll free at 1-800-FIGHT MS (1-800-344-4867). Visit us on the Internet at www.nationalmssociety.org.