Alliance stakeholders consider challenges and next steps at the second scientific congress

Research on progressive MS is advancing, with the first modest treatment success recently reported and more paths opening for understanding what’s driving the disease, but with many challenges remaining.

That was the take-home message from the International Progressive MS Alliance’s Second Scientific Congress, where more than 200 researchers and supporters gathered in San Francisco in May 2016 to review research progress, challenges and next steps to speed the development of therapies for progressive MS.

Among the topics discussed were:

  • What’s driving progression? More clues emerge Although it is not clear what causes MS, headway is being made toward understanding how the damage done to the nervous system leads to the loss of nerve cells and progressive disability.
  • Repair and recovery The brain naturally reacts to the damage of MS in a number of ways, such as by repairing nerve-insulating myelin, and by compensating for damage through reorganization and plasticity, where other parts of the brain take over. Participants noted that these recovery mechanisms may be enhanced to improve function in MS.
  • Clinical trials: how to push forward? Despite the first positive results from a large-scale clinical trial in primary progressive MS (announced in fall 2015 from a trial of ocrelizumab), many agreed that more successes are needed to change the lives of people living with progressive MS.
  • Emerging opportunities / new horizons

To read more about these discussions and other developments at the Alliance’s Second Scientific Congress, download the Summary Report.

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