More MS news articles for May 2002

Cure MS Now! Seeks Support for Promising MS Research at UCSF

http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=020430008030&query=sclerosis

April 30, 2002
Business Wire
Health/Medical Writers
SAN FRANCISCO
BW HealthWire

Cure MS Now!, the new Northern California charitable organization established to identify and support promising areas of multiple sclerosis (MS) research, is focusing its fund raising efforts for 2002 on a promising line of investigation being conducted by medical research scientists at University of California at San Francisco (UCSF)

The UCSF researchers, led by scientist and physician Claude P. Genain, MD, have identified an antibody that contributes to the nerve damage that occurs in some patients with multiple sclerosis

The researchers have also developed a new therapeutic approach that has the potential to inhibit the antibody, stopping progression of the disease

In addition, they have developed strategies utilizing new "nerve growth factor" drugs to repair damage to myelin, the insulating lining of the body's nerves that is destroyed in MS

Lab Tests Show Promising Results A small study in laboratory animals with a disease similar to MS has shown these treatments to be quite effective in stopping the progression of damage to myelin and in battling the neurological effects of the disease, which include fatigue, pain, blindness and paralysis

The goal of the Cure MS Now! campaign is to raise funds that could help fuel the study of these therapeutic strategies in the laboratory, with the ultimate goal of moving them into clinical trials for patients

Dr. Genain and his colleagues published the discovery that antibodies play a role in multiple sclerosis in the scientific journal Nature Medicine, in 1999

Funding Needed for Antibody Research "If we are to stop the disabling effects of MS, then more funding for this research is urgently needed," said Catherine Dennes Akay, President of Cure MS Now!

"Dr. Genain's research shows promise not only for stopping the disease but for restoring people's lives." The National MS Society has committed more than $500,000 to Dr. Genain's research in the next three years

"We have been interested in Dr. Genain's research, and have dedicated funds to support his continued progress," says the president of the Northern California chapter, Julie Thomas

"We admire the enthusiasm of Cure MS Now to expedite the research process." Akay founded Cure MS Now! in 2001 after learning that the lack of sufficient funding, not technology, was limiting the progress of finding a cure for MS

She has suffered from the effects of MS for more than 22 years, and gave up her psychotherapy practice to dedicate herself to funding the research aimed at curing MS within the next five years

MS is a chronic, often disabling disease that randomly attacks the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord)

The progress, severity and specific symptoms of the disease cannot be predicted; symptoms may range from tingling and numbness to paralysis and blindness

MS is a devastating disease because people live with its unpredictable physical and emotional effects for the rest of their lives

MS affects an estimated half million people in the United States, and millions more worldwide

About Cure MS Now! Founded in 2001, Cure MS Now! is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization based in Marin County, California, and is made up of volunteers dedicated to funding promising MS research targeted at stopping the disease, alleviating suffering and providing hope for MS sufferers

For more information, call 877-8CUREMS, or visit http://www.curemsnow.org

Cure MS Now! is approved as a tax deductible IRS 501(c)(3) charity

Donations may be sent to 300 Tamal Plaza, Suite 150, Corte Madera, CA 94925

Note to Editors: Press packets and interviews available on request.

CONTACT:

Cure MS Now!, Corte Madera
Catherine Dennes Akay, President, 415/927-2942
Sally Thornber, Vice President, 925/708-3557
or
University of California at San Francisco (UCSF)
Dr. Claude Genain, 415/502-5684
Jennifer O'brien, 415/476-8432 (UCSF Media)

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