Multiple Sclerosis Medical Research Center

Multiple Sclerosis Medical Research Center

CFC #71469

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The mission of the Multiple Sclerosis Medical Research Center is to find new ways to predict, prevent and treat the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis (MS). Through collaborative research, we speed medical advances to give every patient a fighting chance.

MSMRC scientists use their collective and extensive knowledge and expertise in a variety of diseases and disciplines to build a database of validated information that is also relevant to MS. This information is then used to design novel hypotheses and approaches to advance our understanding of MS development and potential avenues for treatment. It is our collective goal to identify novel molecular, biochemical and cellular pathways that are previously not considered relevant to MS, and to exploit new targets for therapeutic intervention, to prevented and reduce the impact of MS progression.

Learn more by visiting the Multiple Sclerosis Medical Research Center website:

Introduction to MS

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated neurological disease involving both immune T, B, and innate immune cells. Together these cells promote inflammation, which damages the myelin sheath surrounding and protecting nerve fibres in the central nervous system (CNS). Without myelin, the nerves are unable to efficiently conduct electrical currents that translate into messages to distant sites of the body. Common symptoms of MS are numbness on hands and feet, blurred vision, impaired muscular coordination, severe fatigue, and a large spectrum of neurocognitive disorders.

It is estimated that there are 2.3 million people with MS worldwide. MS is usually diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 50 years old. It is more common in women than men. There are at least 4 types of MS: About 85% of diagnosed people have what is called Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS). In RRMS the symptoms do not worsen during remission. However, RRMS can lead to Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS). In SPMS the disease gradually progresses with or without relapses and remissions. About 15% of people diagnosed with MS have yet another type, named Primary Progressive MS (PPMS). In PPMS the disease worsens over time. There can be plateaus but there are no relapses. The progressive relapsing MS (PRMS) is also a type that is progressive from the beginning. In PRMS there are clear relapses, but without full recovery in between.

Research at MSMRC

Research at MSMRC strives to make significant advances towards the prediction, prevention, and treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Institute scientists, with expertise in immunology, molecular biology, biochemistry, muscle health and neurological disorders collaborate in teams using a think-tank approach on joint projects to address recurrence, muscle weakness, fatigue, and neurological disorders in people with MS. Our hope is that our research will reduce the effects of MS and improve patients’ quality of life by designing new treatments and cures for the devastating consequences of MS.

MS is an autoimmune disease. At MSMRC there are scientists who have decades of experience in research designed to understand how the body’s immune system causes autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (Marcondes and Davies) and type 1 diabetes (Davies). There are many similarities and differences in the cellular pathways that cause these diseases. By working together, these scientists will compare and contrast the diseases in the hopes of finding new information that is relevant to MS.

The immune cells that play a critical role in causing MS are T cells, B cells and macrophages. At MSMNRC there are scientists who have a deep understanding of how these cells work under different conditions. Scientists who work on T cells (Marcondes and Davies and macrophages (Marcondes) will study how these cells interact with each other and with the nerve fibers of the CNS to cause MS.

Neurological disorders are common in people with MS and can include memory loss and confusion. The Marcondes research group study cellular and molecular pathways that lead to MS.

People with MS experience profound fatigue and muscle weakness. The Davies group conducts research to prevent muscle weakness in patients with cancer and are investigating whether there is potential overlap between the mechanisms that cause muscle fatigue and weakness in people with MS.

The function of any cell, including immune cells, is the result of a complicated series of molecular and biochemical events that take place inside the cell. Molecular biology experts at MSMRC (ElShamy and Samad) work together to understand how the regulation of molecules inside immune cells has changed in people with MS. MSMRC scientists who are specialists in biochemistry (Binley) provide critical insight into biochemical changes that take place in the structure and function of immune cells in people with MS compared to healthy people.

We need your help

Our research programs are funded primarily by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Private donations help to accelerate the progress of research through the purchase of laboratory supplies and equipment or the recruitment of additional laboratory personnel. Thank you!

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