Research into MS treatment gets boost


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Multiple sclerosis researchers got a $10,000 gift to support work at Health Sciences Centre, the hospital foundation announced Thursday.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/09/2011 (4277 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Multiple sclerosis researchers got a $10,000 gift to support work at Health Sciences Centre, the hospital foundation announced Thursday.

The Health Sciences Centre Foundation presented Ann Marrie, director of HSC’s Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, with the first Honorary Directors Legacy Fund Gift at an annual luncheon for honorary directors.

“We are pleased to see this first gift going toward MS research at HSC,” said Bob Cunningham, the foundation’s honorary directors chairman. “Dr. Marrie and her team have done amazing work that has made us all proud.”

The award will be divided between two research projects at the hospital: a clinical trial of testosterone for fatigue in men with MS led by Dr. James Marriot and a pilot study looking for a blood test to monitor active symptoms of MS. It is led by Dr. Michael Cossoy.

Currently, doctors use MRI scans to monitor MS, checking for telltale inflammation that shows when the symptoms are about to get worse in patients. If the blood test works, it will be an easier, faster way to check up on the disease in patients who’ve been diagnosed with MS.

Testosterone is a proven supplement in other diseases in men, slowing rates of fatigue and memory loss but no one’s tried it in MS patients.

Marriot will use his share of the research award to set up a small clinical trial next year with about 50 men with MS.

“With this particular symptom in MS, the treatment we have is not as effective as we’d like. If this is successful, it could help alleviate symptoms of fatigue in men with MS. There are biological reasons to think it could work, but we need the trial to see if it would work,” Marriot said.

The Honorary Directors Legacy Fund was set up by Dr. Jessie Lang and Bob Cunningham to help fund medical research.

Since the 1960s, Lang has devoted her time, and donations, to improving the understanding of MS and its treatment.

Manitoba has one of the highest rates of MS in the world, with rates three times higher than rates in the rest of the Western world. More than 2,500 Manitoba residents live with MS and 110 new cases are diagnosed every year.

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