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Multiple Sclerosis Press Releases

New NIH logo

New members selected for National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council
Thursday, Feb 4, 2016
Six esteemed individuals have been selected to serve on the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council, the principal advisory body to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Brain goes nuclear

Scientists uncover nuclear process in the brain that may affect disease
Monday, Aug 17, 2015
Every brain cell has a nucleus, or a central command station. Scientists have shown that the passage of molecules through the nucleus of a star-shaped cell, called an astrocyte, may play a critical role in health and disease. The study, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

MRI machine

A SMARTer approach to stroke care
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Time is critical when it comes to stroke: early treatment is associated with better outcomes. According to the Screening with MRI for Accurate and Rapid stroke Treatment (SMART) study, small changes in quality improvement procedures enabled clinicians to use MRI scans to diagnose stroke patients before giving acute treatment, within 60 minutes of hospital arrival. MRI scans provide detailed images but take longer to complete than CT scans, which are commonly used in most centers.

An artist’s representation of the remyelination study.

Drugs that activate brain stem cells may reverse multiple sclerosis in mice
Monday, Apr 20, 2015
Two drugs already on the market — an antifungal and a steroid — may potentially take on new roles as treatments for multiple sclerosis. According to a study in Nature, researchers discovered that these drugs may activate stem cells in the brain to stimulate myelin producing cells and repair white matter, which is damaged in multiple sclerosis. The study was partially funded by the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

New NIH logo

New members selected for National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council
Thursday, Jan 29, 2015
Five prominent individuals from the neuroscience community have joined the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council, the principal advisory body to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

New NIH logo

Preliminary results show improvement in MS symptoms
Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014
Combining the estrogen hormone estriol with Copaxone, a drug indicated for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), may improve symptoms in patients with the disorder, according to preliminary results from a clinical study of 158 patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

New NIH logo

NeuroBioBank gives researchers one-stop access to post-mortem brains
Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013
To expedite research on brain disorders, the National Institutes of Health is shifting from a limited funding role to coordinating a Web-based resource for sharing post-mortem brain tissue. Under a NIH NeuroBioBank initiative, five brain banks will begin collaborating in a tissue sharing network for the neuroscience community.

Microglia (green cells) cluster around leaking blood vessels days before neurological damage occurs in a mouse model of MS.

NIH-funded researchers show possible trigger for MS nerve damage
Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012
High-resolution real-time images show in mice how nerves may be damaged during the earliest stages of multiple sclerosis. The results suggest that the critical step happens when fibrinogen, a blood-clotting protein, leaks into the central nervous system and activates immune cells called microglia.

Particles carrying myelin can thwart MS in mice

Research breakthrough selectively represses the immune system
Monday, Nov 19, 2012
In a mouse model of multiple sclerosis, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed innovative technology to selectively inhibit the part of the immune system responsible for attacking myelin—the insulating material that encases nerve fibers. Their approach involved attaching myelin to microparticles, and using it as a decoy to thwart the immune attack.

A human T-cell

NIH researchers implicate unique cell type in multiple sclerosis
Wednesday, Aug 1, 2012
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found evidence that a unique type of immune cell contributes to multiple sclerosis (MS). Their discovery helps define the effects of one of the newest drugs under investigation for treating MS – daclizumab – and could lead to a new class of drugs for treating MS and other autoimmune disorders.

JC Virus - credit Eugene Major, NINDS

NINDS Lab Helps Track a Viral Brain Disease
Friday, Oct 28, 2011
NINDS intramural scientists led by Eugene Major have developed a sensitive laboratory assay to detect JC virus. The test has become an important resource for diagnosing cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy or PML, a brain disease that is a rare side effect associated with some monoclonal antibody therapies used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune disorders.

A T cell and a dendritic cell making contact.

While Probing Activity of New Multiple Sclerosis Drug, NIH Researchers Uncover Inner Workings of the Immune System
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Daclizumab quiets the abnormal immune reactions that occur in people with multiple sclerosis by targeting a single molecule on immune cells. Research from NIH reveals new insights into how the drug works, and into the basic biology of the immune system.

A photomicrograph of white blood cells, which are immune cells that fight infections.  Credit: Public Health Image Library, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers Find Connection between Parkinson’s Disease and Immune System-Related Gene
Monday, Sep 27, 2010
Researchers have found that a gene involved in the immune response is linked to the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. The finding strengthens a theory that Parkinson’s disease may result partly from harmful immune reactions such as inflammation, infections or autoimmunity – when the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues.

Female identical twins who participated in the study are shown in silhouette on the cover of Nature.  The twin with MS is in a wheelchair, with the other twin standing at her side.

Researchers Probe Genomes of Twins with Multiple Sclerosis for Nature vs. Nurture Clues
Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010
In a new study, researchers scoured the genomes of several identical twin pairs, in which one twin had developed multiple sclerosis (MS) while the other did not. The researchers were searching for any genetic differences that could explain the twins’ different fates. The study touches on the influence of nature vs. nurture in MS.

Four New Members Appointed to National Neurological Disorders and Stroke Advisory Council
Thursday, Feb 4, 2010
Four New Members Appointed to National Neurological Disorders and Stroke Advisory Council

Dr. William Matthew Tapped to Lead NINDS Office of Translational Research
Thursday, Jul 30, 2009
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health, has named William D. Matthew, Ph.D., as director of its Office of Translational Research (OTR).

Genetic Study Confirms the Immune System’s Role in Narcolepsy
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health have identified a gene associated with narcolepsy, a disorder that causes disabling daytime sleepiness, sleep attacks, irresistible bouts of sleep that can strike at any time, and disturbed sleep at night. The gene has a known role in the immune system, which strongly suggests that autoimmunity, in which the immune system turns against the body's own tissues, plays an important role in the disorder.

NIH Symposium Explores Promise of Stem Cell Therapies
Monday, Jul 14, 2008
Stem cells have been hailed as a toolkit to treat a host of diseases, but at an NIH symposium on May 6, researchers said they are still deciphering the toolkit’s instruction manual.

Study Suggests Improved Treatments for Neuropathic Pain
Thursday, Jun 26, 2008
Two chemicals associated with neurodegeneration and inflammation play important and distinct roles in development of neuropathic pain, a new study shows.  The findings may lead to new treatments that can stop neuropathic pain from developing and alleviate it after it begins.

After a Decades-Long Search, Scientists Identify New Genetic Risk Factors for Multiple Sclerosis
Sunday, Jul 29, 2007
A pair of large-scale genetic studies supported by the National Institutes of Health has revealed two genes that influence the risk of getting multiple sclerosis (MS) – data sought since the discovery of the only other known MS susceptibility gene decades ago. The findings could shed new light on what causes MS – a puzzling mix of genes, environment and immunity – and on potential treatments for at least 350,000 Americans who have the disease.

Blood-Clotting Protein Could be a Target for Therapy against MS
Monday, May 14, 2007
In multiple sclerosis (MS), the immune cells that patrol our blood for pathogens venture out of the bloodstream and attack the brain. Researchers have found that leakage of a blood-clotting protein into the brain, once considered merely a sign of damage in the MS brain, helps stimulate this attack.

Low Serum Vitamin D Linked to Multiple Sclerosis
Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007
A new study shows that multiple sclerosis (MS) is linked to low levels of vitamin D in the blood, but it’s unclear whether vitamin D deficiency is a causal factor in the disease or whether vitamin D supplements would protect against it.

Vitamin B3 Points Toward New Strategy For Treating MS
Friday, Oct 27, 2006
Researchers have shown that a form of vitamin B3 is beneficial in mice with an MS-like disease. Although standard doses of the vitamin would not be potent enough for long-term treatment of MS, the findings could be a step toward developing effective drugs against the disease.

Evaluation of Patients Treated With Natalizumab Finds No New Cases of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
Wednesday, Mar 1, 2006
An independent clinical and laboratory study of more than 3000 people treated with the drug natalizumab (Tysabri®) for multiple sclerosis (MS), Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis has found no evidence of new cases of the often-fatal disorder called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). The laboratory component of the study was coordinated by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), working in conjunction with the NIH Clinical Center.

Chemical Messenger Inactivates Cellular "Police" in Multiple Sclerosis
Friday, Oct 28, 2005
One of the fundamental mysteries of autoimmune diseases is how normally protective immune responses go bad. A new study sheds some light on this issue by showing that a chemical messenger called interleukin 12, or IL-12, allows some white blood cells to proliferate and damage healthy tissues. This finding may lead to new drug treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases.

NINDS Javits Award Goes to Six Inventive Neuroscientists
Wednesday, Sep 7, 2005
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a part of the National Institutes of Health, has named six scientists to receive its prestigious Senator Jacob Javits Award in the Neurosciences. The award is given to individual investigators who have demonstrated exceptional scientific excellence and productivity in research supported by the NINDS and who are expected to conduct innovative research over the next 7 years.

TROY: A Newly Identified Stop Signal in the Pathway for Nerve Regeneration
Wednesday, Mar 9, 2005
One of the major puzzles in neuroscience is how to get nerves in the brain and spinal cord to regrow after injury. A new study has identified a protein, TROY, that inhibits nerve cell repair and plays a role in preventing nerve regeneration. This finding is an important step in developing new methods for treatment of spinal cord injury, stroke, and degenerative nerve disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS).

Vaccine Reduces Parkinson's Disease Neurodegeneration in Mice
Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004
For the first time, researchers have shown that an experimental vaccine can reduce the amount of neurodegeneration in a mouse model for Parkinson's disease. The finding suggests that a similar therapy might eventually be able to slow the devastating course of Parkinson's disease in humans.
Fact Sheet

Small Trial Shows Daclizumab Add-On Therapy Improves Multiple Sclerosis Outcome
Monday, May 24, 2004
A small clinical trial of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) who did not respond to interferon alone found that adding the human antibody daclizumab improved patient outcome. Patients who received the combined therapy had a 78 percent reduction in new brain lesions and a 70 percent reduction in total lesions, along with other significant clinical improvements.
Fact Sheet

Amid Ongoing Controversy, Researchers Find Opiates Relieve Chronic Pain From Nervous System Damage
Monday, May 12, 2003
A new study shows that opioid drugs taken orally could provide relief for some of the more than 2 million Americans suffering with chronic pain resulting from damage to the nervous system.
Fact Sheet

Old Drug, New Use: New Research Shows Common Cholesterol-Lowering Drug Reduces Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms in Mice
Monday, Jan 6, 2003
A new study shows that a widely prescribed cholesterol-lowering drug dramatically reduces symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in mice. Results of the study suggest that statins, which are commonly used to prevent heart attack and stroke, could be a possible new treatment for MS and other autoimmune disorders.
Fact Sheet

Brain Produces New Cells in Multiple Sclerosis
Tuesday, Feb 26, 2002
The brain produces new cells to repair the damage from multiple sclerosis (MS) for years after symptoms of the disorder appear, according to a recent study. However, in most cases the cells are unable to complete the repairs. These findings suggest that an unknown factor limits the repair process and may lead to new ways of treating this disorder.
Fact Sheet

Immunotherapy Treatment Shows Dramatic Results for Rare Neurological Disorder
Wednesday, Dec 26, 2001
An immunologic therapy, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), administered to patients suffering from stiff person syndrome (SPS), provides dramatic relief from disabling symptoms, according to a study appearing in the December 27, 2001, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.* The study's principal author, Marinos C. Dalakas, M.D., chief of the Neuromuscular Diseases Section of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, says that the success of the treatment supports the theory that SPS is the result of an autoimmune response gone awry in the brain and spinal cord.

MS Clinical Trials Confirm Approach, Demonstrate Need to Refine Targeted Peptide Therapy
Sunday, Oct 1, 2000
Two clinical trials of a targeted peptide therapy in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) have been halted due to adverse effects in some study participants. Despite these adverse effects, the findings confirm that the targeted peptide plays a role in the disease and provide valuable information that may help refine this type of therapy for MS as well as other autoimmune diseases.
Fact Sheet

Clinical Expert Dr. Guy McKhann Joins NINDS Research Planning Effort: Will Coordinate InstitutE'Ss Clinical Research Programs
Thursday, May 25, 2000
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) director Gerald D. Fischbach, M.D., today announced that Guy McKhann, M.D., will serve as Associate Director for Clinical Research for the Institute. Dr. McKhann is former chairman of The Johns Hopkins University Department of Neurology and founding director of the university's Mind/Brain Institute.

Transplanted Neural Stem Cells Migrate Throughout the Abnormal Brain, Reduce Disease Symptoms
Monday, Jun 7, 1999
For years, researchers have probed the mysteries of neural stem cells -- immature cells that can differentiate into all the cell types that make up the brain -- with the idea that they might be useful for treating brain disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Important new animal research now suggests that these cells may be effective in treating a much broader array of brain diseases than previously anticipated, including Alzheimer's disease and many childhood brain disorders.

Herpes Virus Strain Identified as a Trigger in Multiple Sclerosis
Monday, Nov 24, 1997
A strain of reactivated herpes virus may be associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own tissues. This is the first published large-scale study suggesting an association of a human herpes virus in the disease process of MS.

Study Shows IVIG Safe, Effective Treatment for Muscle Disease
Wednesday, Dec 29, 1993
Patients with a painful and debilitating muscle disease called dermatomyositis showed dramatic improvement on a treatment regimen of intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) during a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The study, which was conducted at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), will be published in the December 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Fact Sheet

NINDS Research Offers Hope for Transplantation and Regeneration
Wednesday, Nov 10, 1993
Age-old dogma held that the central nervous system could not regrow or recover, dampening hopes for recovery from spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders. But recent results from scientists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) offer a glimpse of how basic research promises approaches for restoring and repairing damaged nerves.

Natural Course of Multiple Sclerosis Redefined
Tuesday, Oct 16, 1990
Scientists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) today presented evidence that multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease even in its earliest stages.
Fact Sheet