National MS Society To Hold Annual Awareness Campaign

This week marks the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s annual awareness campaign.

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system which interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. It affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

Advancing multiple sclerosis research is one of the National MS Society’s highest priorities. The society is devoting nearly $50 million to support some 380 research projects around the world while providing programs and services to over a million people annually.

It is also fostering global collaborations and increasing annual investments yearly to drive solutions that will stop multiple sclerosis progression, restore function that has been lost and end multiple sclerosis forever.

In just two decades, multiple sclerosis has moved from being an untreatable disease to one where there are at least 10 treatment options for those with relapsing multiple sclerosis, the most common form of the disease. And there are even more new therapies speeding through the pipeline that offer hope to people with all forms of this life altering disease.

Among the week’s initiatives are:

A connection to spearhead multiple sclerosis research.

The society is announcing in March a new funding commitment totaling over $29 million to support 83 new research and training projects worldwide.

These include innovative studies investigating the potential of adult stem cells for repairing the nervous system; research to determine how dietary salt and the gut’s microbiome may impact multiple sclerosis; funding to train multiple sclerosis specialists who can provide the best care; and high-risk pilot projects to test breakthrough ideas.

Every Connection Counts, an initiative to get people to share their stories and connect with others at www.MSconnection.org. Visitors can learn more about multiple sclerosis, upload their own photo and connection to share with others, download tools to spread multiple sclerosis awareness or register to participate in Walk MS or Bike MS or another conveniently located society event.

Visitors can also build connections, view and share images, video, and stories about their connections on the society’s Facebook page. If they tweet, they can spread the word using the #MSconnection hashtag.

Find famous faces on MSconnection.org. There are a multitude of famous faces who are celebrity multiple sclerosis ambassadors.

They include, among others, Alessandra Ambrosio, Ryan Asdourian, Tyler Campbell, Courtney Galiano, Phil Keoghan, Zoe Koplowitz, Shemar Moore, Jack Osbourne, David Osmond, Bill Pullman, Rain Pryor, Julie Roberts, Lauren Bedford Russell, Noah “40” Shebib, Richard Cohen and Meredith Vieira, Clay Walker, and Tom Wallisch.

Fans can also look for celebrity postings on their individual Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

As a follow-on to MS Awareness Week, more than 300 multiple sclerosis Activists will gather for the society’s annual public policy conference and to make personal visits on Capitol Hill to advocate for issues that will help people with multiple sclerosis move their lives forward, such as sustained multiple sclerosis research funding through the National Institutes of Health and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, robust funding of the Food and Drug Administration, co-sponsorship of a bill that would create a separate benefit in Medicare for complex rehab technology, and support of the Congressional MS Caucus.