Multiple sclerosis is a complex disease involving immune-system attacks on the central nervous system.
Think tank participants noted recent findings suggesting that a proportion of individuals with progressive MS who shows signs of active inflammation on MRI scans are likely to respond to the disease-modifying therapies currently available for treating relapsing forms of MS. This makes it clear that we need to re-evaluate the clinical definitions of progressive types of MS and identify biological underpinnings that can improve treatment today, and also help determine whom to enroll in clinical trials.
As a follow-up to this think tank, we are now holding talks with MS Societies internationally to lay the groundwork for a consortium on progressive MS research. And in May 2011 the Society and the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis are convening an international workshop aimed at developing more sensitive outcome measurements for MS progression. We need new ways – the quickest, most efficient ways – to determine if therapies are stopping MS symptoms from getting progressively worse.
The Society is committed to pursuing all promising avenues; connecting people, resources and ideas; speeding development of treatments; and identifying and filling gaps – until we have found a way to stop MS in its tracks, restore lost function, and ending this disease forever by identifying its cause.
To learn more about grant and other funding opportunities for academic institutions or young biotech companies that might be working on innovative research projects that could lead to new or better therapies for people with MS, please visit www.nationalMSsociety.org.