The research performed at the Karolinska Institutet (Institute) accounts for approximately 45 percent of the state funded medical research in Sweden. Every year the Karolinska Institute Nobel Committee appoints Nobel Prize laureates in Physiology and Medicine. Over the years, five Karolinksa researchers have been awarded the Physiology or Medicine Prize.
Karolinska Molecular Medicine MS Center is focusing on the development of new treatments for MS. Studies of MS are being conducted in a newly created rat model, in which a relapsing-remitting type MS can be triggered by immunization.
Studies are underway into nerve conduction and clinical neurophysiology in patients at early and late stages of MS.
Defining disease predisposing genes in MS that are rational targets for individualized therapy by a pharmaco-genomic approach. It will enable the genotyping of affected persons with MS and may direct the choice of therapy.
Developing non-invasive approaches to measuring changes in the cortex, or the outer layer of the brain's gray matter, through electrophysiological techniques and recently developed mathematical algorithms that reveal the stability or degeneration of cortical cells. The preliminary findings of this research project suggest that it is effective in monitoring changes in cortical function and the associated cognitive stability or decline.
Using epidemiological research to investigate the multifactorial nature of the MS disease process, by linking individuals’ medical and other records with those of their parents, grandparents and siblings.
Using neural stem cells to possibly “regrow” nerves.Identifying variants of disease-regulating genes that are likely to determine the risk for MS, and deciphering their function and pathogenic role in autoimmune neuroinflammation. This project will also relate genetic associations to environmental exposures and measures of inflammation. The aim is to unravel the multiple causes of MS, and to make way for effective and selective therapy, and even prevention. Current key researchers include Lou Brundin, M.D., Ph.D., and Tomas Olsson, M.D.
Addressing the possible activation and differentiation of central nervous system stem cells following such immunological insults of MS.
More information about the Karolinska Institutet can be found at www.ki.se
The Center Without Walls facilitates communication among six distinct MS research centers. Frequent interaction among the centers allow researchers the chance to share information prior to publication and to critique each other's work.
In research supported by the Nancy Davis Center Without Walls (CWOW), truly revolutionary breakthroughs in genetics and immunology have been made. Their scientists have identified a chemical that appears in the bloodstream of patients whose MS enters an active phase, creating the possibility that a blood test of active MS could soon be developed. In addition, genetically engineered inhibitors against an antibody that lead to destruction of myelin membrane are in development for treatment of MS. These breakthroughs create the potential for the development of more effective drugs against MS and give promise for a cure in the near future.
More information about the Center Without Walls can be found at www.erasems.org
One of the core features of the MS center is the MRI imaging facility that includes a dedicated MRI magnet and 3-D image processing laboratory.
New techniques to follow the progress of MS patients are being developed which involves 3-dimensional imaging.
A Natural History Study in which 1000 MS patients will be followed over a ten-year period has been initiated. This will involve investigation of patients' clinical status, MRI imaging and immunologic studies, to allow doctors to understand why some people do better with multiple sclerosis than others. A study of this magnitude has never been done.
Intensive studies continue into the underlying immune cause of the disease.
New blood tests for the disease are being developed.
Research aimed at understanding why people change from the relapsing-remitting to the progressive stages of MS is underway.
The immune response to the medications used to treat MS patients, and how the immune response links to treatment, is being studied.
Clinical trials are ongoing to develop new therapies. These include a study of new drugs being tested to further control disease progression and disability in people with MS.
More information about Brigham & Women's Hospital can be found at www.partnersmscenter.org
This project, under the auspices of Dr. Stephen Hauser, focuses on the identification of genes that predispose families to multiple sclerosis. Dr. Hauser is one of America's leading specialists in genetic MS research and is recognized worldwide. Dr. Hauser and his team have mapped specific genes associated with MS susceptibility in Northern European and African Americans. This work is expected to lead to the identification of candidate genes for a variety of immune related diseases.
More information about the department of Neurology at the University of California can be found at www.ucsf.edu/msdb
The goals of this research, under Dr. Stephen G. Waxman, include understanding the molecular basis for remissions so that they may be induced, developing effective treatments that will prevent further neurological loss in people with MS, and restoring lost functions.
More information about the Center of Neuroscience and Regeneration at Yale University can be found at www.med.yale.edu/neurol/pva-epvacenter
The aim of the project, entitled Development of Biomarkers for Diagnosis
of MS, under Principal Investigator Dr. Avindra Nath, is to identify
unique proteins of biomarker significance in CSF (cerebrospinal) from
patients in early stages of MS.
More information about the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins University can be found at www.kennedykrieger.org
Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, or NUIN is an umbrella program, charged with promoting and enhancing neuroscience education and research.
Their project entitled Zebrafish Nanotechnology Model for Demyelination in
Multiple Sclerosis, under Dr. Ernest J. Moore Jr., exploits nanotechnology to investigate drugs that could prevent or treat MS. This investigation is expected to lead to translational medicine for MS afflicted individuals.
More information about the Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program or NUIN can be found at www.northwestern.edu/nuin
The National Pediatric MS Center was established to advance the recognition, evaluation, and treatment of pediatric Multiple Sclerosis through the creation of a multidisciplinary program dedicated to clinical care and scientific research of children and adolescents with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Its goals are to improve the diagnosis and treatment of MS in the pediatric age group and better define the emotional, clinical, and neurological complications of the disorder.
The goals of the Pilot Study, entitled Proteomic analysis of Pediatric MS, also by Dr. Lauren Krupp, are to identify proteins that may be involved in the cause of multiple sclerosis and related disorders in childhood.
Dr. Krupp is also working on a project to identify biological markers that should enable earlier and more accurate diagnoses of MS.
More information about the National Pediatric MS Center at Stony Brook University can be found at www.pediatricmscenter.org
The Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to curing MS by determining its causes. Focused on accelerating the pace of MS breakthroughs, the organization seeks to remove obstacles to investigating the causes of MS and encourages collaboration between research organizations and clinicians. It is developing a "Cure Map," a systematic plan of research into the causes of MS, and implementing the "MS Repository," the world's largest, shared collection of bio-samples ever assembled for use in MS research. This resource will vastly impact the productivity of MS research, enabling studies to take place at a scale not previously possible and allowing participating researchers to cross correlate their findings with those of other researchers.
Accelerated Cure Project was founded in 2001 by former high tech entrepreneur, Art Mellor, who was diagnosed with MS in 2000.
More information about the Accelerated Cure Project can be found at www.acceleratedcure.org
The research being done by Dr. Steven Schwid aims to observe whether polyunsaturated fats have an effect on actively inflamed brain lesions. The investigation is a preliminary study with the hopes of continuous research into the effect of these fats on disease activity in relapsing MS patients.
More information on MS research at the University of Rochester can be found at www.stronghealth.com
Dr. Anna Lobell heads this study’s examination into how the disease of MS is initiated by focusing on the different factors, which cause T cells to become disease promoting. It also examines how the disease process is suppressed by DNA vaccination.
An investigation, under Dr. Jeffrey A. Rumbagh, studies the initiation of MS. It focuses on unexplored cells called Plasmacytoid dendritic cells and their possible association with neurodegeneration.
The most recently funded study, under the auspices of Benjamin Greenberg, M.D., M.H.S., will investigate the link between the lack of Vitamin D and MS, which is more prevalent in regions of the world where there is less sun.
More information on MS research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine can be found at www.hopkinsneuro.org
Please visit Epivax online at www.epivax.com.
More information on MS research at the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Virginia can be found at www.healthsystem.virginia.edu.
More information on MS research at the Department of Neurology & Neurosciences at UMDNJ can be found at www.njms.umdnj.edu.