May 19th, 2023

The International Progressive MS Alliance is launching a large-scale program of research to identify and implement solutions to some of the most challenging symptoms that people with progressive MS experience. The announcement is to mark this year’s World MS Day, a campaign to raise awareness and accelerate progress in ending MS.

“This effort is an important investment in making daily life better for people with progressive MS,” stated Dr. Ruth Ann Marrie, Vice Chair of the Alliance Scientific Steering Committee. “Research is needed to identify, develop, test and implement effective therapies that improve well-being and can be widely adopted.”

The Alliance has completed a Request for Applications as the first stage of a research pipeline in which successful awards will demonstrate a strong expert team that offers the potential for novel therapeutic interventions or outcomes for progressive MS and has the potential to culminate with a large randomized controlled study (Stage 2) and implementation (Stage 3) for adoption into the larger healthcare system. Over 53 applications from 11 countries have been received prior to the May 15 deadline. The projects will focus on one or more of the following symptoms: fatigue, impairment of mobility and upper limb function, pain, and cognitive impairment.

This research program has been developed following a 2018 Alliance Global Scientific Congress focused on symptom management and rehabilitation as well as the publication of a 2021 paper in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal by an expert panel convened by the Alliance outlining recommendations for advancing research in well-being. The paper noted that for many of the worst symptoms that may be experienced by individuals living with progressive forms of multiple sclerosis, there are insufficient treatment approaches that can relieve them and improve quality of life. Additionally, it made clear that increased financial investment into studies of symptom management is needed if progress is to be achieved.

“Often the hardest part of living with MS are the things that people don’t see. The debilitating fatigue that overwhelms you or the cognitive impairment where you can’t remember the question that your husband just asked you. Having answers to these challenges would be a game-changer in improving the lives of people with MS,” said Marie Vaillant, a member of the Alliance Scientific Steering Committee and a person living with MS.

Learn more about the Alliance’s Strategic Plan to end progressive MS.

Progressive MS Alliance

19th May 2023