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Research in Action

July 2016
Latest research news and updates from the MS Society of Canada

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Research Profiles

Alpha female and fitness enthusiast, Robyn Baldwin

Robyn Baldwin
Alpha female and fitness enthusiast, Robyn Baldwin remains a true inspiration to the MS Society of Canada and greater MS community. Nick naming her MS as “sidekick”, Robyn has taken full charge of her health through fitness, nutrition and key healthy habits such as meal prepping, following an autoimmune paleo diet and using yoga and meditation to reduce stress. “Wellness means feeling vital,” says Robyn. “It means having enough energy to tackle all the goals and dreams I want to accomplish in life.” Robyn utilizes meditation to sustain her energy and focus and be more mindful of her thoughts and actions, inevitably aiding her in managing the symptoms of MS. She actively files research articles and bookmarks webpages to stay up-to-date on the latest MS information. Her keen spirit as well as being a voice for others with MS led her to join the MS Society’s Vitamin D and MS Expert Panel. The panel met in March of 2015 to discuss the latest evidence on the link between vitamin D and MS, and are in the process of developing guidelines that inform healthy vitamin D intake practices among those affected by MS. Representing the public voice, Robyn shared her views on what people living with MS want to know more about in terms of vitamin D and the questions they have. Looking forward, she hopes to see more research programs and funding opportunities for studies focused on nutrition, sleep, supplementation and stress reduction.

Research Events and Funding Opportunities

2016 endMS Conference — Registration now OPEN

The MS Society of Canada is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2016 endMS Conference. As one of the largest scientific meetings in Canada focused on multiple sclerosis, we encourage you to take a moment to visit our endMS Conference website to learn more about exciting event.

Information and exercise events offered by the MS Society

Please visit the MS Society Events website for details on the following events as well as others in your area:

  • Education & MS information members of the Ontario and Nunavut Division, MS Society of Canada are in the process of planning an educational website for those affected by multiple sclerosis. We encourage you to complete the questionnaire to provide your input to assist us in creating a well-informed resource.

External events and opportunities related to multiple sclerosis

  • Glia in Health & Disease US academic institutions and multiple sclerosis organizations team up to assemble academic leaders to discuss new developments in the study of glial biology.

MS Updates

Researchers pin down molecule that permits the entry of harmful immune cells into the spinal cord in MS-like disease

One of the ways that researchers gain important insights into a complex disease like multiple sclerosis (MS) is by studying how different molecules interact in order to trigger and drive the disease. Certain molecules can play multiple, sometimes conflicting roles in the MS disease process. One such molecule is interleukin-1 (IL-1); while it can contributes to the development of MS-like symptoms in mice, IL-1 also appears necessary for remyelination, a regenerative process used to replace myelin damaged during an MS-like attack. Read more…

FDA approves monthly injectable medication daclizumab for relapsing forms of MS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved Zinbryta (daclizumab high-yield process) for adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. Co-marketed by pharmaceutical companies Biogen and AbbVie, Zinbryta is a long-acting injectable medication that is self-administered on a monthly basis. Read more…

FDA fast tracks the review of Roche’s experimental therapy ocrelizumab for relapsing and primary progressive forms of MS

The U.S. Food and Drug Agency (FDA) recently granted “breakthrough therapy’ designation to ocrelizumab for the treatment of people living with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Primary progressive MS is a form of the disease characterized by a slow accumulation of disability and for which there is currently no approved treatment. Breakthrough therapy (BT) designation is intended to fast-track the review and approvals process of drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions, and requires preliminary clinical evidence demonstrating that the therapy shows substantial improvement on at least one clinically-significant outcome measure over available therapy or no therapy. The benefit of BT designation is that a promising therapy is more likely to be available sooner to people who need it through the FDA approval process. Read more…

In Other MS News…

Website and Research Blog

  • The MS Society of Canada has updated the research website at The goal of these updates is to enhance the visitor experience by providing new or expanded information and to streamline navigation to make it easier for visitors to find information about the MS Society’s research programs and hot topics in research.
  • On the heels of the publication of two breakthrough studies funded by the MS Scientific Research Foundation , MS Society Vice-President, Research Dr. Karen Lee weighs in with her personal take on the role of genetics in MS and the emergence of new options for personal treatment approaches for people living with MS.

Get Involved in a Research Study

The MS Research Portal is a resource provided by the MS Society of Canada that aims to connect Canadian researchers seeking participants for studies with people affected by MS who want to get involved in research. Each month, this section will highlight select studies from across Canada hosted on the Portal. If you are a researcher looking to post a study, or if you are a person affected by MS who would like to take part in a study, visit

  • As a joint effort in studying the importance of physical activity in relation to multiple sclerosis, researchers at Queen’s University and McMaster University are looking to improve the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The study aims to figure out how physical activity guidelines can be carried out for people with MS. Click here to read more about how to participate in the study.
  • In an attempt to understand the relationship between multiple sclerosis and walking, Dr. Nandini Deshpande invites you to partake in their research study on the impacts of early stage MS and walking at the Motor Performance Laboratory in the School of Rehabilitation, at Queen’s University. Click here to read more about how to participate in the study.
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