A total of nearly $19 million has reportedly been committed by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in an effort to support an expected 54 new MS research projects. A news release issued by the organization notes that the financial commitment is the latest in the Society’s research efforts to move closer to a “world free of MS.” In 2014 the Society invested more than $50 million to support 380 new and ongoing studies around the world.

Current research projects include a study at Stanford University designed to use skin cells to produce repair cells for potential future use to restore nerve-insulating myelin in MS, pre-clinical studies by commercial firm Gillalogix to test the nervous system-protective qualities of an oral therapy repurposed to address progress MS, as well as a Mayo Clinic study of beneficial gut bacteria to look for clues to a novel therapeutic strategy for MS. An additional wellness study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign testing seeks to determine whether an exercise program performed at home can increase strength and balance, while reducing falls in MS patients.

Bruce Bebo, PhD, executive vice president, National MS Society, calls the comprehensive nature of the new research investments “very exciting,” and adds that “While we’re driving research to stop MS, restore function and end the disease forever, at the same time we’re identifying key interventions and solutions that can help people with MS live their best lives now.”

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Cynthia Zagieboylo, president and CEO, National MS Society, emphasizes that a top priority for the National MS Society is MS research, “We fund the entire research spectrum, propelling novel ideas into the lab, translating breakthroughs into clinical trials, and moving success in clinical trials into new treatments for people living with MS.”

The release notes that the Society relies on more than 130 scientists who volunteer their time to carefully evaluate hundreds of proposals every year.

Source: National MS Society