Editor’s note: “Need to Know” is a series inspired by common forum questions and comments from readers. Have a comment or question about MS? Visit our forum. This week’s question is inspired by a frequent reference made in our forums as well as in our columns and articles.
MS and alphabet soup
We live in the age of acronyms. Abbreviations for long, hard-to-pronounce terms can be helpful for simplifying information.
At the same time, some acronyms have multiple meanings, which can certainly complicate matters.
And then there are acronyms that we should know when we see them. This is because they are one of a kind and point to important resources, events, or agencies that exist in a global pursuit to unlock the mysteries of multiple sclerosis (MS).
If you’ve ever gone online to research MS and run into ACTRIMS or ECTRIMS, you may have been intimidated by their length. (After all, aren’t acronyms meant to be short for a reason?) All the more reason to know what they stand for.
ACTRIMS stands for the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis. It was founded in 1995 by a community of research leaders in the U.S. and Canada.
ACTRIMS is a clinical organization, meaning membership is limited to MS researchers and clinicians. Delegates to ACTRIMS are not employed by commercial entities or pharmaceutical companies. It also has a Young Investigators delegation for students who have not yet obtained advanced degrees.
The focus of ACTRIMS is on knowledge dissemination, education, and collaboration among disciplines. The goal is to give experienced and newer researchers a place to exchange information, debate current MS-related issues, and explore advances made in research.
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