NEW YORK, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- 2009 saw exciting research progress, unprecedented opportunities on the horizon, and more scientists than ever working on resolving important questions. Despite the year's economic and financial challenges, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society continues to propel research forward to end MS. In 2009 the Society provided over $33.5 million to support 345 new and ongoing projects in its research portfolio, plus $1.5 million for Fast Forward, the Society's drug development subsidiary which continues to attract new funding streams. In addition, thanks to the efforts of our MS activists, $5 million was specifically allocated for funding MS research out of the 2009 Department of Defense budget.
As 2009 comes to a close, the Society maintains its nimble pursuit of promising research opportunities to end MS and has issued an international call for grant applications to expeditiously examine the potential impact of the chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) hypothesis on disease process in MS. Working with MS Societies around the world, an international panel will be convened to conduct a joint expedited review of the grant applications submitted in order to ensure a coordinated, strategic approach to funding the best research examining the CCSVI hypothesis in 2010. http://www.nationalmssociety.org/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=2206
The following is just a small sample of the many important, potentially high-impact research results that occurred during 2009, which support the Society's three research goals: stopping MS, reversing the damage and restoring function, and ending MS forever.
REVERSING MS DAMAGE/RESTORING FUNCTION
ENDING MS FOREVER
For details on the studies mentioned visit: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/research/index.aspx
These and other leaps forward - accomplished in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression - made 2009 a momentous year of progress toward a world free of MS.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S. and over 2.1 million worldwide. Each hour, someone is newly diagnosed with MS.
About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The National MS Society addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS through funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, collaborating with MS organizations around the world, and providing programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. In 2008 alone, through the national office and its 500-state network of chapters, the Society devoted over $148 million to programs that enhanced more than one million lives. The Society also invested over $45 million to support 440 research projects around the world. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Join the movement at www.nationalMSsociety.org.
About Fast Forward, LLC
Fast Forward, LLC is a nonprofit organization established by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in order to accelerate the development of treatments for MS. Fast Forward will accomplish its mission by connecting university-based MS research with private-sector drug development and by funding small biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies to develop innovative new MS therapies and repurpose FDA-approved drugs as new treatments for MS. For more information visit: www.fastforward.org
SOURCE National Multiple Sclerosis Society