Advancing Research in Multiple Sclerosis

Links Resources

Links & Resources

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) causes varying levels of damage to the nerve sheath, known as myelin, covering the nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. When this damage occurs, electrical signals from the brain may be  slowed or blocked from reaching the eyes, muscles, and other parts of the body. This can lead to problems with vision, movement, muscle strength, coordination, and thinking. 

MS affects more than 450,000 people in the United State and more than 2.3 million worldwide. Despite being first described over 150 years ago, there is still no known cause or cure. 

Thanks to research, great advances have been made in the past twenty years in uncovering the etiology of the disease and the development of new treatments, such as the advent of disease-modifying drugs. For many with MS, progression can now be slowed. But there is still too much that is unknown. 

Until recently, funding for MS research has been primarily through government sources and, in the case of new drug discovery, through pharmaceutical companies. Other important funding comes from organizations such as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

ARMS was formed to encourage researchers to explore promising and possibly nontraditional avenues of research to identify more ways people with MS can improve their quality of life. We feel this is a very promising time of discovery in MS and want to be a force in stimulating research.

Facts About MS

  • The incidence of MS in western New York is twice the national average

  • Buffalo has the 2nd highest rate of MS in the country

  • The cost to New York State for MS is estimated to be over $ 2 billion each year

  • MS ranks as one of the most costly diseases in the U.S., second only to heart disease

  • 15 years after diagnosis, progression begins for most, leading to disabilities that affect many aspects of well-being, including employment

  • Over 50 % of people with MS eventually must stop working earlier than planned

  • There are people with MS who continue to have a fairly benign disease course and are able to continue their activities and employment

  • Over 25% of people with Multiple Sclerosis are now 60 years of age or older

  • Very little research is conducted on people 60+ who have MS