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Latest research news and updates from the MS Society of Canada

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Research Profiles

Meet the Community Representative: Jenny Gauthier

Jenny GauthierJenny was diagnosed in 2010 with Relapsing Remitting MS. In the face of the challenges this diagnosis has brought, Jenny brings incredible positivity and energy. She is an educator and lifelong learner who has taken on high-profile positions of leadership in her community which allow her to share her inquisitive spirit and positive outlook. She is a middle school teacher in Campbellton, New Brunswick, Chair of the MS Society's Restigouche Chapter, and key fundraiser for the MS Walk in Dalhousie.

It is no surprise that Jenny brought these qualities to her role as Community Representative on several MS Society committees: the Independent Review Committees for Personnel Awards and Clinical and Population Health Operating Grants and, most recently, on our newly formed Translational and Commercial Research Advisory Committee. A highlight for her was witnessing the passion of the scientific reviewers as they debated the fine details of individual grant applications. According to Jenny: “The review was by far, one of the most interesting, informative, and unique experiences that I have ever been a part of! The research that professionals in all sorts of fields are doing, proposing and thinking of, to change the future of MS is unbelievable!”

Learn more by visiting the Community Representatives page on our website.

Research Events and Funding Opportunities

World’s largest MS conference takes place this week

The 31st Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS (ECTRIMS) is taking place this week in Barcelona, Spain. This is the largest MS-focused scientific conference in the world, bringing together the brightest minds in research, medicine, drug development and patient advocacy. ECTRIMS provides a platform for collaboration and networking among people from different disciplines, and geographic regions. Follow Dr. Karen Lee and the research team as they report live updates on Twitter and Dr. Lee’s research blog.

Canadian Network of MS Clinics accepting applications for MS Clinical Fellowship

The Canadian Network of MS Clinics (CNMSC) is currently soliciting applications for MS Clinical Fellowships that will support Fellows who have previously completed a Neurology residency program, and are preparing for a career focused on caring for MS patients and clinical research in MS. The CNMSC Clinical Fellowship program will help them fine-tune the necessary clinical skills to manage MS patients, while gaining an understanding of clinical research in MS, from inception to publication to translation into clinical practice. The deadline to apply is November 15. For details visit the CNMSC website.

MS Connect 2015: Bringing the MS Community Together

On October 24 the MS Society is hosting a one-day conference in Kitchener, ON for people with MS, their caregivers and the larger MS community. Attendees will have an opportunity to gather meaningful information and resources, connect with others who are affected by MS, and listen to key presentations from leading Canadian MS medical experts and researchers. One of the presenters is MS Society Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient Dr. Dalia Rotstein, who will present on understanding MS disease activity. Visit the MS Connect 2015 website for event details and tickets.

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MS Updates

Scientists link continued smoking to accelerated MS progression

Photo Credit: 'Cigarettes' by jphilipg / CC BY 2.0There is strong evidence suggesting that smoking not only increases a person’s risk of developing MS, but can also accelerate disability progression. However, it is unknown if quitting after being diagnosed can provide benefits to people living with MS. Dr. Jan Hillert at Karolinska University Hospital (Sweden) and her team wanted to understand whether smoking altered the time it took for relapsing remitting MS to convert to secondary progressive MS. Read more…

MS Scientific Research Foundation-funded research draws links between exercise and disease severity in children living with MS

Exercise not only contributes to a healthier lifestyle and reduced risk of many diseases, but in adults, it also helps manage MS-related symptoms such as pain, depression, fatigue, and may even reduce relapse rate and disease progression. Now, research conducted by Dr. Ann Yeh, neurologist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children and director of the MS and Demyelinating Disorders Program, and her team has begun to uncover the positive role played by physical activity in childhood MS. Read more…

Promising results from ocrelizumab clinical trial gives hope to people with primary progressive MS

OcrelizumabBiotechnology company Genentech has just announced results from a phase III clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of ocrelizumab for people living with primary progressive MS. The trial found that treatment with ocrelizumab significantly reduced overall clinical disability progression compared to participants who didn’t receive the drug. Read more…

In Other MS News…

Research Blog

The MS Society added a brand new section to the Research website on Vitamin D. Visit the page to get answers to your questions about vitamin D: what is it, what does it do in the body, how is it linked to MS, and what is some of the research going on in Canada that’s looking into the connection between vitamin D and MS. Don’t forget to check out some proactive things that all Canadians can do to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D.

On the research blog, MS Society Vice-President, Research Dr. Karen Lee recounts her experiences from Hack4Health, a fast-paced 36-hour hackathon at University of Waterloo where student “hackers” were tasked with the job of finding innovative technological and social solutions to wellness gaps for people living with MS. The students were armed with the results of the MS Wellness Survey from August that captured the voices of people living with MS about their needs and priorities concerning nutrition, physical activity and emotional wellbeing.


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