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Society invests $28 million in new research

New leads explore diet, gut bacteria, myelin repair trials and wellness.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has committed $28 million to support an expected 84 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—for every single person with MS.

This financial commitment is the latest in the Society’s relentless research efforts to move us closer to a world free of MS.  It’s part of a projected investment of over $52 million in 2015 alone to support 380 new and ongoing studies around the world, which focus on priority areas including progressive MS, nervous system repair, gene/environmental risk factors and wellness and lifestyle.

Just a few of the new cutting-edge research projects include a comprehensive analysis of the gut microbiome, led by a University of California, San Francisco consortium, who hope to eventually develop probiotic strategies for stopping progressive MS; a pilot trial at Johns Hopkins University exploring the tolerability of a diet that intermittently restricts calorie intake as a treatment for disease activity in people with MS; pre-clinical studies by a commercial firm (Bionure) to test the potential of a compound to protect the nervous system and stimulate repair of nerve-insulating myelin; and a new collaborative center at Oregon Health & Science University to research patient-centered wellness programs to improve the daily life of people with MS.

The new awards range from one-year pilot research grants to test high-risk ideas, to multiyear research grants, training fellowships, and large-scale collaborative research centers to foster cross-fertilization and new collaborations. The awards go to institutions across the U.S. as well as to several in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.