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    Global MS Research Efforts Shared at ECTRIMS/ACTRIMS Meeting

    Posted Monday, November 21, 2011

    News from the National MS Society

    More than 7,000 investigators convened in Amsterdam on October 19-22, 2011 to present findings at a joint congress of ECTRIMS (European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS) and ACTRIMS (Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in MS). Over 1100 scientific presentations and display posters covered virtually every aspect of research to stop MS, restore function, and end MS forever. Among these were the latest results from pivotal clinical trials of emerging MS therapies, possible risk factors, underlying disease mechanisms, rehabilitation approaches, CCSVI, and much more.

    Below are highlights and a more extensive summary. Free access to the conference abstracts are available at the ECTRIMS/ACTRIMS 2011 Website. Read on-site commentary on the National MS Society’s Blog. Viewvideos of select researchers.


    • First results from late-phase clinical trials of new agents, some of which, if found to be safe and beneficial, may come on the market in 2012 and 2013.
    • Progress toward more individualized approaches to treating MS, or “personalized medicine” was evident, including efforts to find non-invasive signals or biomarkers that may be predictive of treatment response and disease course and may speed up clinical trials.

    • The full potential of a variety of rehabilitation and exercise regimens to help restore function to people with MS were presented, including approaches to address troubling symptoms including pain, cognitive issues, fatigue and tremor. In addition, 19 presentations focused on Chronic Cerebrospinal Vascular Insufficiency and MS. Many reported on the prevalence of CCSVI in people with MS compared to controls, with conflicting results. Others reported new findings related to imaging techniques and pathology findings.

    • Genes that make people susceptible to MS contribute only about 30% of the risk – the remainder may be contributed by factors in the environment. Results on possible risk factors – and protective factors – were featured, including new information about how our intestines influence immune activity, as well as levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream. New studies are getting under way to identify risk factors in children with MS and to test whether vitamin D supplements added to ongoing therapy can reduce MS severity.

    Read full article on the National MS Society's website

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