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Nationwide, more than 400,000 people live with MS. In North Florida, this number is well over 3,000. Every hour someone is diagnosed with MS and many lives are forever changed. To fund research, to provide hope, to find a cure this is why we’re here.

The North Florida Chapter is proud to be a part of Promise 2010- the first national fundraising campaign, focused on four targeted areas of research. With a nationwide goal of $25 million, over a five-year period, each Chapter’s commitment is critical to its success. The North Florida Chapter remains on the forefront of research progress with a commitment to this campaign of $250,000.

Promise 2010’s four targeted areas of research that will be studied are:

  • Promising Research: Tissue Repair and Protection
  • Promising Care and Treatment: MS Pediatric Care Centers
  • Promising Understanding: Sonya Slifka Longitudinal Study
  • Promising Research: MS Lesion Project

When new concepts come to light, or emerging technologies open up new opportunities, the National MS Society attracts investigators to conduct targeted research on specific topics in need of exploration. Exciting new Society-targeted initiatives encompassed by the Promise 2010 campaign are as follows:

Nervous System Repair and Protection: This bold new initiative for tissue repair and protection in MS involves the largest grants ever offered by the Society and sets the stage for translating basic lab discoveries into clinical efforts to restore nerve function in people with MS. Interdisciplinary teams will develop non-invasive tools and models, and design clinical trials to pave the way for clinical testing to restore function in people with MS.

Pediatric MS Treatment Centers: There are about 8,000-10,000 children or adolescents who have MS, and another 10,000-15,000 who have experienced what may be symptoms of MS. This disease is more difficult to diagnose in children, and many pediatricians are not familiar with MS. For these reasons, the National MS Society is establishing regional pediatric MS centers to set the standard for pediatric MS management and care and offer optimal medical and psychosocial support to children and their families. The centers will also create the framework to conduct critical research both to understand how best to treat childhood MS, but many believe that studying MS in children holds great promise for unlocking the mysteries of MS in adults.

The Sonya Slifka Longitudinal MS Study: The first study of its kind in the U.S., the Sonya Slifka Longitudinal MS Study is a repository of in-depth information about the lives of people with MS. Investigators are collecting detailed data from a national sampling of 2,000 individuals. This study integrates clinical information, healthcare practices, and socio-economic data to learn what happens to people with MS over time and what factors influence the long-term course of MS.

The MS Lesion Project: This international collaboration seeks patterns in the MS damage seen in brain tissue and attempts to correlate those findings with actual clinical signs, symptoms, and responses to therapy. This effort provides vital information on the underlying pathology of MS and the impact of specific treatments. With this knowledge, we can map out better ways of treating people who exhibit specific patterns of disease.

For more information on how you can get involved in this exciting new campaing, contact our office today.