National MS Society Devotes $18 Million to New Research

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has committed $18 million to fund 65 new research projects dedicated to eradicating multiple sclerosis.

In 2013, the organization expects to invest $47 million overall to study the illness and determine ways to restore lost function in patients.

In announcing the new research funds, Timothy Coetzee, Ph.D., chief research officer for the National MS Society, said, “It's critical that all promising paths are pursued to find solutions for everyone affected by MS. These new projects are part of the Society's holistic investment -- spanning all research stages, including early discovery research, translational research, and clinical trials -- which has resulted in new treatments and better diagnosis and disease management for people with MS.”

Among the new projects is a Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.) study to investigate whether a link exists between low testosterone levels and higher risk for MS in men. Research conducted at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Ore., meanwhile, will study changes in the brains of MS patients that have been associated with balance difficulties.

The organization says about 2.1 million people worldwide are living with multiple sclerosis.

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Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

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