MS Society of Canada poised to feature research and researchers for May Awareness Month and World MS Day

WorldMSDay2018_CelebratingResearch_TwitterPost_ENThe theme for World MS Day (May 30) 2018 is #BringingUsCloser. The overall aim of this campaign is to bring people affected by MS closer to those involved in MS research and to create a better understanding of complex research processes. The MS Society will be jumping on this theme for MS Awareness Month as well, with a special research focus throughout the month. This theme is inclusive for people living with MS, their caregivers, friends, and family and it provides us the opportunity to talk about the MS Society’s research progress and funding.

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American Academy of Neurology: A new biomarker to monitor disease progression and treatment response in MS

blood-1813410_960_720A major research question in multiple sclerosis (MS) is to determine if a person with MS is progressing in their disease course and how they are responding to treatments? Researchers attending the American Academy of Neurology(AAN) meeting addressed this crucial question by looking at a new emerging biomarker for MS. Biomarkers are signatures found in the body that can be objectively measured and can be an indicator of your health or reveal the presence or progress of a disease. Continue reading

70th American Academy Neurology (AAN) annual meeting: leading researchers and clinicians will gather for the largest neurology meeting of the year

AAN logoAn intense week of latest and hottest research news and updates are awaiting the research team at the 70th American Academy Neurology (AAN) annual meeting that will take place in sunny Los Angeles from April 21 to April 28. This is the largest meeting of its kind, with over 10,000 people attending including neurologist and researchers from all over the world gathering to present and discuss their recent discoveries, cutting-edge developments and advancements. This diverse meeting focuses on many areas in neurology including multiple sclerosis, dementia, epilepsy, and other neurological conditions. Educational programs are also offered to clinicians to test their knowledge and stay up to date on the best clinical practices for disease treatment and management.

Several posters and presentations from the leading MS researchers and clinicians will keep the research team buzzing around to capture and report as much information as possible. We are excited to learn about biomarkers, risk factors for MS, treatment outcomes in clinical research, and pediatric MS, just to name a few!

Want to find out about what we learn at the conference? Check out our #AAN2018 #AANAM updates next week, both here on the blog and on Twitter at @Dr_KarenLee.

Celebrating Brain Awareness Week by understanding Brain Health in MS

32794072843_6d027dc9a0_oBrain Awareness Week, happening this year from March 12 to 18, is a global campaign organized by Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives to increase awareness of the benefits of brain research while promoting public interest in neuroscience research. In recognition of this week, I’m discussing brain health in multiple sclerosis with a focus on the MS Brain Health Report. Titled Brain Health: Time matters in multiple sclerosis, the report offers evidence-based recommendations focused on diagnostics, therapeutic strategies, and improving access to treatment. It was developed by a group of international experts in MS under the guidance of Dr. Gavin Giovannoni, Chair of Neurology at the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. The MS Society of Canada was one of the many organizations to endorse the recommendations made in the report.

The MS Brain Health Report is divided into six key chapters focusing on: (1) the burden of MS; (2) speeding up diagnosis; (3) early interventions to maximize brain health; (4) monitoring and treating MS; (5) acting quickly on disease activity; and (6) approaches to understand cost-benefits of treatments. Together, these chapters make up an extensive summary! Below are some key points from each section to give a flavour of the Report.

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International Women’s Day: Highlighting female scientists that are advancing research in MS

InternationalWomensDayFor more than a century people around world have been celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8th. The theme for this year’s IWD is #PressforProgress based on a need for gender parity. In addition to this year’s goal to #PressforProgres, IWD celebrates the achievements of women all around the world. When speaking of the achievements of women and bringing it locally, Dr. Pamela Valentine was appointed President and CEO of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada this year.  In Multiple Sclerosis (MS), more women than men are diagnosed with the disease that means more women are managing a disease while also juggling the everyday hurdles of life. So, in today’s post I wanted to highlight the research projects conducted by a couple of the female researchers we support that are working tirelessly to find ways to improve the quality of life of all people living with MS.

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ACTRIMS 2018: Cutting Edge Development in MS Research

Presenters at the cutting-edge developments in MS session deliver the newest key findings of pivotal studies. At the session, we heard about a novel therapeutic involved in remyelination, pathways that inhibit remyelination, a genetic risk factor that may also target the cell functions in the central nervous system, and reduced adverse events with extended interval dosing of an approved disease-modifying therapy.

Read on for highlights from the #ACTRIMS2018 cutting edge developments in MS research session.

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ACTRIMS 2018: What are some emerging concepts in MS?

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Human T-cell

Gut microbiome, blood brain barrier, risk factors—these are all emerging concepts in MS. Scientists have immersed themselves in research in these areas because of the promise they hold in finding a cure for MS.  In fact, in the past couple of decades, there has been a remarkable expansion of new treatments for MS, novel imaging techniques that allow for earlier and quicker diagnosis, and great new ideas that all started as an “emerging concept”. In this session, researchers present the new ideas/concepts that inform us about how MS works, factors involved in MS and new ways to measure and capture disease activity and treatment options for people with MS.

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Leading researchers and clinicians gather to present their work at the third annual ACTRIMS Forum

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The research team is on site again for another year of reporting on the latest and hottest news presented at the annual Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum 2018. This year’s meeting is held in San Diego, California from February 1-3.

Themed, “Therapeutic Targets in MS: the Frontier and Future of Disease Modifying Therapy,”, the forum is packed with leading researchers/clinicians presenting on hot topics in the field. Emerging concepts in the pathology, risk factors and imaging tools are sure to be news-worthy. Sessions are also planned on different cells—lymphocytes, microglia, macrophages, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes—and what role they play in MS.  Moreover, the session on cutting-edge developments with topics such as novel therapeutics, and genetic influences of MS are for sure to be of interest. For more information, visit the ACTRIMS Forum 2018 site.

Stay tuned for more updates on #ACTRIMS2018 over the next few days, both here on the blog and on Twitter at @Dr_KarenLee.

Happy New Year! Here are my three top research moments of 2017!

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Happy New Year! It’s the time of year many of us make that list of New Year’s resolutions whether it’s being healthier, getting organized, being happier or something else. For many of you affected by MS, one hope you have is to stay well through your very personal journey.

Happily, 2018 seems promising for another year of discoveries. The MS Society continues to fund some of the world’s most groundbreaking MS research—research that has improved quality of life for people affected by MS. So here’s to another year of life-changing scientific advances like those we saw in 2017:

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