The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has committed $29 million to support an expected 83 new MS research projects and training awards. These are part of a comprehensive research strategy aimed at stopping MS, restoring function that has been lost and ending the disease forever.
This financial commitment is the latest in the society's research efforts to move closer to a world free of MS, investing more than $50 million in 2014 alone to support over 380 new and ongoing studies around the world. So that no opportunity is wasted, the society pursues all promising paths, while focusing on three priority areas: progressive MS, nervous system repair and wellness and lifestyle.
Just a few of the new cutting-edge research projects include studies at Harvard asking whether a high-salt diet or gut bacteria contribute to causing MS or making it progressively worse; an innovative nervous system repair project in France looking at the potential of using a person's own adult stem cells as "spare parts" for repairing the brain; and a University of Washington wellness study looking at changes in quality of life—including changes in happiness, employment abilities and satisfaction—for individuals over the first year after their MS diagnosis.
MS interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the body. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men diagnosed with the disease. Worldwide, over 2.3 million people live with MS.