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A world free of
To connect and
empower the MS
community to create
(combined Society & Foundation)
Another year of pandemic restrictions didn’t stop our community from being a community. We embraced technology and found ways to have an impact, making even more meaningful connections and touching the lives of those living with MS despite all the challenges we faced.
Having access to a variety of effective treatment and care options for symptom management, wellness and self-care will help people on their unique MS journey.
We support a broad portfolio of research that leads to better understanding and new and more effective treatments, we advocate for access to medicine, and provide programs and services that support those living with MS to live their fullest lives.
RESEARCHERS IDENTIFIED SEVERAL RISK FACTORS THAT CAN CONTRIBUTE TO HOW PEOPLE WITH MS WILL FARE IF THEY CONTRACT COVID-19, through analyzing data captured in a global data-sharing initiative called COViMS (COVID-19 Infections in MS & Related Diseases).
Knowledge of those who may be at greatest risk for more severe outcomes helped people living with MS, their caregivers and clinicians identify those who require more intense monitoring. It also emphasized the need for prevention strategies such as COVID-19 vaccination and ongoing adherence to public health safety measures, such as wearing a mask and physical distancing.
PEOPLE LIVING WITH MS HAD ACCESS TO INTERNATIONAL, EXPERT, FACT-BASED GUIDANCE ON THE SAFETY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF COVID-19 VACCINES. Together with our partners, we convened a global group of researchers and medical professionals to review evidence as it evolved, and ensured this information was available through web-based educational sessions.
PEOPLE WITH MS WERE PRIORITIZED TO RECEIVE THE COVID-19 VACCINE because of our advocacy efforts, which drew on evidence from global research efforts and data-sharing initiatives like COViMS.
We help remove physical and social barriers within communities to ensure access to opportunities and supports for people affected by MS.
EXTENDING BEREAVEMENT LEAVE BY AN EXTRA FIVE DAYS for federally regulated workers through Bill C-220, which passed unanimously in both the House of Commons and the Senate of Canada in June 2021.
INCREASING EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (EI) SICKNESS BENEFITS FROM 15 WEEKS TO 26 WEEKS of benefits, which was listed in the 2021 Federal Budget and expected to be implemented in summer 2022.
in Quality-of-Life grants
letters sent by
supporters in the lead-up to the federal election during our #TakeActionForMS digital advocacy campaign to inform candidates about the issues and concerns of Canadians living with MS
dollars invested in
research grants to enhance well-being
actions taken to support our advocacy priorities, including holding meetings with elected officials, constituent correspondence and submissions
success rate for income support applications, resulting in
a month in direct financial aid
Understanding the complexities of MS progression will help effectively stop MS in its tracks.
We continue to invest in research and support world-wide efforts to better understand how and why MS progresses.
In 2021, the Alliance funded 19 Research Challenge Awards, with the goal of understanding mechanisms and identifying new pathways to support the development of new MS treatments that will ultimately slow or stop disability progression. Representing 13 countries around the world, the projects range from identifying novel insights into axonal loss in progressive MS, to molecular pathways that promote neuroprotection and myelin repair.
One of the recipients is Canadian researcher, Dr. Jennifer Gommerman, whose team will use the funding to investigate the changes that occur in the brains of people with progressive MS and how it correlates with clinical disability. Using a powerful imaging technique called IMC (imaging mass cytometry), the project will focus specifically on how a part of the body’s immune system (called the complement system) and glial cells (cells that support, protect and repair neurons in the brain and spinal cord) communicate with each other to change neuronal circuits.
research grants to understand and halt disease progression
of total participants recruited to CanProCo
Stopping MS before it starts will reduce the number of people who develop the disease.
We continue to invest in research that examines the factors that could lead to MS and how people might shape their lives to reduce their risk of getting the disease.
Through a partnership with the National MS Society we are funding NEW RESEARCH LED BY DR. HELEN TREMLETT TO UNDERSTAND THE FEATURES OF THE PRODROME AND HOW THEY DIFFER IN RELATION TO KEY SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS. They will also look at how these features impact disease progression and use artificial intelligence to help identify predictors and patterns from this data.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO BEST HARNESS THE MS PRODROME TO BENEFIT PEOPLE WITH MS, WE BROUGHT TOGETHER A SMALL AND DIVERSE INTERDISCIPLINARY GROUP of researchers, clinicians, organizations and people affected by MS. They shared current evidence, established common terminology, and identified the key research gaps, opportunities and priorities for this emerging area.
to prevent MS
*combined Society & Foundation
** Thanks to the generosity of donors and other circumstances which resulted in expenditure savings due to COVID-19 in 2021, we were fortunate to have an unexpected surplus which we look forward to reinvesting in research and programs for the community in 2022.
Thanks to you, our donors, partners and volunteers, for your continued generosity and support that made it possible to connect our community, take collective action and have an impact, even when we were apart.