Kin Supports the MS Society
Dear Kin Canada Atlantic District 7,
Can you believe it’s already summer? We’re half way through the year and I wanted to send a quick THANK YOU because you’ve made amazing things happen for our MS community.
In the first six months of 2021, your generous support has had a big impact on MS research and the Programs & Services available for our MS community. Because of you, there are several exciting research projects underway and some program updates that I wanted to share:
$400,000 in funding was awarded to Dr. Ann Yeh (The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto) for a feasibility trial to examine metformin, a widely-used and safe drug prescribed for type 2 diabetes, as a potential therapeutic agent that may promote brain repair and reduce disability following white matter damage in children and young adults with MS. This feasibility trial is an essential first step towards providing preliminary evidence in support of a larger-scale randomized controlled trial for white matter repair. If shown to be effective, the re-purposing of metformin to treat MS would not only provide a novel pharmalogical intervention that promotes repair, but it would also provide a low-cost strategy for people living with MS.
*This research is funded in partnership with the Stem Cell Network and Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
A $1 million Artificial Intelligence (AI) & MS Discovery Grant was awarded to Dr. Douglas Arnold (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital, McGill University). This research will use the power of AI to learn from large clinical trial datasets and develop a clinical decision support tool to help MS physicians and people living with MS make better, more personalized treatment decisions by providing reliable predictions of the individual’s disease course, and how likely they are to respond to different types of disease-modifying therapies.
*This research is funded in partnership with TD Bank Group through the TD Ready Commitment.
MS Connect, a two-day virtual conference, was hosted connecting over 1,100 people across the country to the latest in MS research, symptom management and wellness.
French language service within the MS Knowledge Network was increased with the addition of a third bilingual Navigator to better serve our community.
Funding was awarded to 49 trainees, including 14 postdoctoral fellowships; 25 doctoral studentships and 10 Master’s studentships. This funding is critical because supporting MS researchers from the start of their career ensures that those living with MS will always have talented researchers fighting this disease with them.
In partnership with the National MS Society, we convened a virtual research workshop on the MS Prodrome, co-lead by Drs. Helen Tremlett (University of British Columbia) and Ruth Ann Marrie (University of Manitoba). The MS prodrome could potentially represent early warning signs of MS before individuals even know they have the disease. Understanding the clinical characteristics of the MS prodrome may provide insight into the causes of MS, as well as opportunities for early diagnosis which could change the disease trajectory or even prevent MS onset. The workshop:
- Summarized the current evidence for the MS prodromal phase,
- Shared advances in other neurological or immune-mediated diseases, and
- Identified key research gaps, opportunities and priorities for MS.
A total of 34 participants were in attendance, including 19 international researchers, 13 members of global MS organizations and 2 representatives of the broader MS community.
You also supported four expert-led virtual webinars, attended by 1,358 people, keeping our MS community connected and informed on important topics.
As you can see, it’s been a busy six months and we have you to thank for that. Without you, we would not be able to work on behalf of our MS community. You make this work possible and we are so grateful.
I hope you have a wonderful summer. Stay safe!
PS: The 2020 Impact Report is now available here, in case you wish to view it.
Whitney Machin, BSc | Manager, Leadership Giving | MS Society of Canada
Tel: (902) 442-6939 or toll-free 1-800-268-7582 | firstname.lastname@example.org