National MS Society invests $7 million in research for nerve-repair treatments

Money will fund 15 projects to research repair damage to protective nerve coating

NEW YORK — The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is putting $7 million toward research into ways to speed repair of the nervous system in patients with MS, the organization said Friday.

The society said the money would support 15 new research projects focusing on innovative approaches to repairing the coating of myelin that protects nerve fibers; the coating is destroyed in patients with MS, leading to nerve damage, and finding ways to restore and protect it is a key research priority for the group. The new investments, in commercial and academic research, total $37.8 million.

"The idea of rebuilding the nervous system and protecting it from ongoing MS damage was just a dream a few years ago," National MS Society chief research officer Timothy Coetzee said. "Now, because of efforts by the research community as well as focused investments by the society, we can see a future where people with MS will have treatments that could restore what's been lost."

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