Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

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Future of Multiple Sclerosis: Projections from 2011 to 2031

  • Canadian Study

Background: Canada has the highest prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS) worldwide. Since the onset of MS typically happens between the ages of 20 and 40 years, the most productive years of life may be affected with challenges such as unemployment and disability. The MS Society of Canada’s Action on... Read More

MS Society funds three new wellness studies that seek to provide more options for accessing physical activity for people living with MS

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Physical activity is an important priority for people affected by multiple sclerosis (MS). In 2015, the MS Society of Canada posted the MS Wellness Survey , an online questionnaire designed to capture the voices of people living with MS about how they view wellness, what they do to achieve optimal wellness, Read More

Landmark MS Scientific Research Foundation funded study demonstrates that “rebooting” the immune system stops new disease and leads to recovery in people with aggressive multiple sclerosis

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Background Currently, disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) approved for multiple sclerosis (MS) appear to work by blunting the destructive autoimmune response that targets tissues in the central nervous system (CNS). For many individuals living with MS, DMTs offer measurable therapeutic benefits by suppressing... Read More

Researchers mine MS Scientific Research Foundation-funded biobank to discover a genetic mutation associated with an aggressive form of primary progressive MS

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

REVISION: June 3, 2016 Background The precise factors that cause multiple sclerosis continue to puzzle researchers today, although the prevailing view is that a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors interacts to trigger the emergence of the disease. Over the past three decades, Read More

MS Society-funded study shows that nicotine reduces the invasion of harmful immune cells into the brain in mice with an MS-like disease

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Background A substantial body of evidence suggests that smoking tobacco increases the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) and may even accelerate disease progression. On the other hand, nicotine, the ingredient in tobacco responsible for its addictive properties, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory... Read More

New collaborative study funded by the MS Scientific Research Foundation will explore how the microbes in the gut influence MS in children and adolescents

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Background The lush bacterial ecosystem in our intestines – referred to as the gut microbiome – has co-evolved with humans to give us the means to efficiently break down food and supply us with extracted energy and nutrients. Beyond its role in digestion, the gut microbiome has a profound impact on... Read More

MS Scientific Research Foundation funded multi-site study makes breakthrough in identifying type of white blood cell involved in MS

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Background Research into understanding and treating multiple sclerosis (MS) has largely been centered on a type of white blood cell known as the  T cell or T lymphocyte. T cells are in charge of protecting the body against harmful infections, but in the case of MS T cells have been identified as important... Read More

MS Scientific Research Foundation funded study boosts efforts in pediatric MS research, implications for understanding adult-onset MS

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Background  Before the launch of the Canadian Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Network in 2004, pediatric multiple sclerosis was under-recognized and poorly understood. The prevalence and impact of MS in children and adolescents was unknown, and how their MS differs from MS in adults was yet to be determined. Read More

MS Society-funded fellow demonstrates the ability of the hormone prolactin, when combined with interferon-β, to reduce disease severity in animals with MS-like disease.

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Background While we know that women living with multiple sclerosis (MS) often experience fewer relapses during mid to late pregnancy or while breastfeeding, we are not sure why this occurs. One possibility lies with the hormone prolactin. Necessary for milk production, prolactin is at its highest levels... Read More

MS Society-funded fellow publishes study that examines new class of compounds with the potential to protect against nerve damage and halt MS progression

  • Canadian Study

Background One of defining characteristics of multiple sclerosis, particularly in the  progressive phase, is the extensive damage that occurs to axons, or nerve fibres, that are found underneath the  myelin sheath in the  central nervous system . This axonal damage is part of a process called neurodegeneration, Read More

MS Society-funded study puts to test a promising new target for MS treatment that has significant potential to stop neurodegeneration and promote recovery

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Background Standard medications that are available to treat MS work by  influencing the activity of the immune system . The development of these medications is based on the observation that MS is predominantly driven by an autoimmune response, in which the body’s natural defenses start to attack healthy... Read More

Canadian researchers explore recent evidence on depression in people with MS

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Background Depression – a condition marked by persistently low mood and a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities – is common among people living with MS, adding significant burden to their well-being. It is challenging to detect depression in individuals with MS, as a distinction must be made... Read More

A comprehensive, nationwide MS Society-supported study provides clues about factors that contribute to living a long and healthy life with MS

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Background: People with MS are living longer than in the past, likely attributable to a higher life expectancy in general and increasingly effective treatments for MS. Strategies for reducing disability and improving quality of life in later years have thus become of great interest, underlying the need... Read More

MS Society funded study assesses diagnostic criteria for CCSVI

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Background: In June 2010, the National MS Society (USA) and the MS Society of Canada committed over $2.4 million to support seven new research projects that would gain further insight into the relationship between chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) and MS. One of these studies was led... Read More

MS Society-funded research aims at helping repair nerves damaged by MS

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Background: What do we know about repair in MS? The majority of therapies for MS specifically target components of the immune system that are believed to cause damage to tissues in the brain and spinal cord. Although these ‘immunomodulatory’ treatments are successful in reducing myelin injury, they... Read More

Results from MS Society of Canada funded study exploring CCSVI and MS in children

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Background: Searching for clues about CCSVI and MS in the younger population Often considered a disease which affects adolescents, multiple sclerosis (MS) has been observed in a small percentage of children. Diagnosed before reaching their teenage years, children with MS experience symptoms of a relapsing-remitting... Read More

MS Society supported study yields new information on "remyelination"

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Background: Remyelination and MS Multiple sclerosis symptoms are the result of damage to myelin, a substance which wraps around and protects the wire-like structures known as axons which are found in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. Myelin also serves as an insulator for axons, allowing them... Read More

Canadian study reveals subgroup of T cells which target oligodendrocytes in MS

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Background: Immune cells and targets It is believed that multiple sclerosis disease is prompted by a series of immunological events. However, the mechanism by which immune cells enter the central nervous system (CNS) and cause tissue damage remains to be defined. A group of lymphocytes known as CD4... Read More

Researchers reveal a dual-protective role of the Hedgehog pathway

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Summary A research team from the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) provide further understanding of the method by which the blood brain barrier (BBB) works to avert attacks of the immune system on the brain. These findings which have been published in the prestigious journal Science... Read More

Research Team Discovers New Type of Spinal Cord Stem Cell

  • Canadian Study

Summary A research team led by a University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health scientist has discovered a type of spinal cord cell that could function as a stem cell, with the ability to regenerate portions of the central nervous system in people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis... Read More

B Cell-Derived IL-15 Enhances CD8 T Cell Cytotoxicity and is Increased in MS

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Summary Researchers at the Centre Hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal, Hopital Notre-Dame in Montreal investigated the involvement of interleukin-15, a cytokine, on CD8 T cells or 'killer T cells' as it relates to the mechanism of MS. [Raphael Schneider, Alma Nazlie Mohebiany, Igal Ifergan, Diane... Read More

Impaired neurosteroid synthesis in multiple sclerosis

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Summary Researchers at the University of Alberta discovered that the genes responsible for producing neurosteroids, which allow brain cells to communicate and enable cell repair and re-growth, are suppressed in people with MS. Increasing the level of these neurosteroids in the central nervous system... Read More

Teriflunomide: Positive Results Reported Following a Phase III Study

  • Canadian Study

Summary Results from a Phase III study involving a new oral disease-modifying therapy, teriflunomide, an agent that inhibits specific immune cells, was shown to reduce relapse rates, disability progression and MRI evidence of disease activity as compared with placebo.  Further studies are ongoing to... Read More

Government of Canada Funds National Neurological Study

  • Canadian Study

Summary The Government of Canada announced investment of almost $6 million to support 10 studies on neurological conditions including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy and neuromuscular conditions. The funding is part of the $15 million National Population Health... Read More

The psychosocial and cognitive impact of longstanding benign MS

  • Canadian Study

Summary UBC researchers and UBC MS clinic neurologists compared outcomes in people with benign MS (EDSS 3.0) and found that depression and mental health quality of life differed little between the two groups. However, people with longstanding 'benign' MS (EDSS ≤3 for 25+ years) had less fatigue, better... Read More

Pregnancy outcomes in women with multiple sclerosis

  • Canadian Study

Summary UBC researchers, Dr. Helen Tremlett and Mia van der Kop reported findings from a retrospective cohort study she conducted using data from the British Columbia MS Clinics’ database and the British Columbia Perinatal Database Registry to determine if there was a difference in pregnancy related... Read More

First Oral Disease-Modifying Therapy Approved in Canada (Gilenya®)

  • Canadian Study

View or print this bulletin in its original format. Summary On March 9, 2011, Health Canada approved Gilenya® (fingolimod) capsules, the first oral disease-modifying therapy developed for relapsing-remitting MS. Gilenya (prounounced Jil-EN-ee-ah) has been approved for use in people who have tried one... Read More

MS Society partners in CCSVI clinical trial

  • Canadian Study

September 28, 2012 – Halifax – The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada welcomes the federal government’s announcement that the Phase I/II clinical trial for chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) has received the necessary medical and ethical approvals required to proceed. The national... Read More

The natural history of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis

  • Canadian Study

View or print this bulletin in its original format. Summary A study of over 5,000 people with MS , researchers pinpointed motor symptoms at onset (such as muscle stiffness known as spasticity) and male gender as factors associated with a faster progression from relapsing-remitting MS to secondary-progressive... Read More

MS Society of Canada commits $1 million for CCSVI clinical trial

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Toronto, Ontario - September 16, 2010 – The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada board of directors unanimously approved a motion to reserve $1 million for a chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) and MS pan-Canadian therapeutic clinical trial. The funding will be set aside so that an immediate... Read More

Emerging effects of comorbidities on multiple sclerosis

  • Canadian Study

View or print this bulletin in its original format. Summary Although the interaction between comorbidities and chronic diseases is strong, the effect of comorbidities receives little attention in many chronic diseases. In multiple sclerosis (MS), an increasing amount of evidence suggests that physical... Read More

Emerging Therapies in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis

  • Canadian Study

James J. Marriott* and Paul W. Q'Connor Reviews on Recent Clinical Trials, 2010, 5, 179-188. View or print this bulletin in its original format. Details Disease modifying therapy (DMT) first became available for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) fifteen years ago with the development of... Read More

The natural history of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis

  • Canadian Study

View or print this bulletin in its original format. Summary The onset of secondary progression is a pivotal event in the course of relapsing-remitting (RR) multiple sclerosis (MS). Patients with secondary progressive MS (SPMS) experience continuous worsening of symptoms independent of the occurrence... Read More

Executive Functioning in Children and Adolescents with Multiple Sclerosis

  • Canadian Study

View or print this bulletin in its original format. Summary Executive Functions (EF) include a range of superordinate abilities that control performance across many tasks allowing for cognitive efficiency and mental flexibility. Although EFs are commonly affected in MS, little is known about the EF... Read More

Reconstitution of circulating lymphocyte counts in FTY720-treated MS patients

  • Canadian Study

View or print this bulletin in its original format. Summary FTY720 (Fingolimod) is a new therapy that reduces disease activity by decreasing numbers of a specific immune system cell. The authors investigated patients who discontinued therapy during clinical investigation and they found that the reconstitution... Read More

New perspectives in the natural history of multiple sclerosis

  • Canadian Study

View or print this bulletin in its original format. Summary In this review, researchers from the University of British Columbia highlight recent advances in MS natural history over the last 5 years, with a focus on long-term population-based cohorts and factors associated with disease progression. Tremlett... Read More

Increasing use of disease modifying drugs for MS in Canada

  • Canadian Study

View or print this bulletin in its original format. Summary University of Toronto investigators report on the utilization of disease modifying drugs in Canada. Rotstein DL, Mamdani M, O'Connor PW. Can J Neurol Sci. 2010 May;37(3):383-8. Details The course of multiple sclerosis may be slowed by use of... Read More

Acne medication may delay progress of multiple sclerosis

  • Canadian Study
  • MS Society Funded

Canadian researchers investigate common medication as alternative MS treatment Calgary, October 25, 2007 – A common acne medication that has been available for over 30 years has the potential to delay the progress of multiple sclerosis and if proven effective, will offer an inexpensive option for the... Read More