Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia Limited
Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia Limited (MS Research Australia) is the largest Australian not-for-profit organisation dedicated to funding, coordinating, educating and advocating for multiple sclerosis (MS) research as part of the worldwide effort to solve MS. The primary mission is to accelerate research towards the prevention, better treatments and, ultimately, a cure for MS.
MS is the most common acquired chronic neurological disease affecting young adults, often diagnosed at around 30 years of age and, in Australia, affects 3 times more women than men. As yet, there is no cure. There is no known single cause of MS, but many genetic and environmental factors have been shown to contribute to its development.
In MS, the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the fatty material, called myelin, around the nerves. Myelin is important for protecting and insulating nerves so that the electrical messages that the brain sends to the rest of the body, travel quickly and efficiently. This means that the brain cannot talk to other parts of the body, resulting in a range of symptoms that can include a loss of motor function (e.g. walking and hand and arm function, loss of sensation, pain, vision changes and changes to thinking and memory).
The incidence of MS in Australia is on the rise and the economic costs associated with the disease are spiralling.
Many experts believe that drastically increasing research funding in to MS could mean the disease could become manageable within a 15 year time frame.