National MS Society Funds 13 New Research Projects

The National MS Society has announced it is funding 13 new research projects that seek to better understand the risk factors involved in multiple sclerosis (MS) development and progression. The funding — nearly $7 million in total — also will go to “rescue” 22 MS-related research projects that…

New Research Project Will Study Nerve Cell-Glia Communication

A new research project, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), aims to better understand how different types of cells in the nervous system — specifically neurons and glia cells — communicate with each other and ultimately affect both motor and non-motor functions. Its findings may have important implications…

Researcher Wins National MS Society Grant to Study Patients’ Emotional Processing Challenges

A $44,000 National Multiple Sclerosis Society grant will allow a researcher at the Kessler Foundation to advance her work on multiple sclerosis patients’ emotional processing challenges. Dr. Helen Genova, Kessler’s assistant director of neuropsychology and neuroscience research, has been studying cognitive dysfunction in people with various diseases, including MS. In addition to neurological problems,…

MS Society of Canada Creates ‘Wellness Toolbox’ to Help Patients Manage Their Disease

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada — with input from both experts and patients — has developed a "wellness toolbox" with strategies to help multiple sclerosis (MS) patients cope with their disease. Wellness is becoming a big area of research, particularly in patients with chronic diseases such as MS. With an estimated 291 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013, according to the Multiple Sclerosis International Foundation, Canada has the world's highest incidence of MS. While pharmaceutical and scientific research are advancing in the therapeutic area, studies are also underway to determine the contribution of wellness factors such as nutrition, physical activity and emotional well-being -- to quality of life for MS patients. With that in mind, the Toronto-based MS Society of Canada conducted a Wellness Survey, which led to the launch of the Hermès Canada | MS Society Wellness Research Innovation Grant. These grants are awarded to scientists conducting research on MS and wellness factors. The University of Saskatchewan, which received one such grant in 2016, investigated the effect of Pilates in people with MS. The study recruited 30 MS patients. Half took Pilates classes twice a week and massage therapy once a week, while the other half only did once-a-week massage therapy. Results showed that patients who took Pilates classes saw an improvement in their overall condition, compared to patients in the control group. To create its wellness toolbox, the MS Society of Canada received input from MS patients about strategies that have helped them manage the disease and live a full life.

Nortis Awarded $688K Grant from NIH to Develop ‘Living’ Model of Blood-Brain Barrier for Research

Nortis, a Seattle-based biotech company, has received a $688,000 grant by the National Institutes of Health to create a living, 3-D model of the human blood-brain barrier that will be used for laboratory testing to accelerate drug development and lessen the likelihood of failure in clinical trials. This grant provides funding for a third year of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award given to Nortis by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a branch of the NIH. SBIR provides grants to U.S.-based small businesses to do federal research and enable the commercialization of technology. The blood-brain barrier is a tissue barrier that only allows certain molecules to pass from blood vessels into the brain. It is a protective mechanism to prevent the entry of foreign bodies and infection-causing organisms in the brain. Researchers are trying to find ways of delivering medications across this barrier, to reach brain tissues to treat diseases that include multiple sclerosis. "Understanding how drugs are transported across the blood-brain barrier and interact with the brain presents a significant scientific challenge," Thomas Neumann, CEO of Nortis and principal investigator on the project, said in a press release. "More predictive preclinical models based on human tissue are urgently needed to reduce costs and minimize clinical trial failures," he added. "This grant will help us develop new in-vitro alternatives to traditional pharmaceutical drug development testing on laboratory animals."

Canada, World’s Multiple Sclerosis Capital, Launches 3-Way Collaboration to Research MS Progression

Three Canadian entities — Toronto-based Biogen Canada and the MS Society of Canada, and Montreal-based Brain Canada — have jointly invited researchers to establish a multiple sclerosis (MS) progression cohort in Canada. The $7 million nationwide MS Progression Cohort offers a timely opportunity to investigate some of the biggest challenges in curing progressive MS, such as…

National MS Society Awards Grant to London Researchers

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society in the U.S. has awarded a new grant to a University College London (UCL)  research team to continue work into compounds with the potential to act as neuroprotective therapies for degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS). The financial support comes through the Society’s business-oriented subsidiary, the Fast Forward venture.