Vision - To prevent, cure, reverse, or slow the progression, and lessen the personal and societal impact of multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a degenerative, chronic, immune-mediated disease of the central nervous system that leads to cumulative neurologic disability over several years. The body's immune system attacks and damages certain structures and cells within the central nervous system, including the myelin (the fatty sheath that surrounds and protects nerve fibers), the oligodendrocytes (myelin-producing cells), and the underlying nerve fibers. This damage interferes with the transmission of nerve signals between the brain and spinal cord and other parts of the body.
MS affects over 400,000 individuals in the United States and about 2.1 million worldwide. While individuals of all ages are affected by MS, it is more commonly diagnosed in young adults, particularly women, between the ages of 20 and 40.
The etiology and pathogenesis of MS are largely unknown; however, it is thought to be triggered by a combination of one or more environmental factors in a genetically susceptible individual. MS is a heterogeneous disease that can manifest in many ways across the patient population. The progression, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. Currently, there is no cure for MS.
Since its inception in fiscal year 2009, the Multiple Sclerosis Research Program (MSRP) has supported innovative and impactful research that addresses fundamental issues and gaps in MS. The vision of the MSRP is to prevent, cure, reverse, or slow the progression and lessen the personal and societal impact of MS.
Last updated Tuesday, May 11, 2021