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MS in 2015: A Year of Research In Review

Posted on: December 31st, 2015 by MS HOPE Staff
Category: About MS, Clinical Trials, Health News, MS Awareness, MS News, MS Treatments

Scientist: 2015 MS Research Year In ReviewTen, nine, eight… The end of 2015 means we’re a year closer to finding the answers and a cure for multiple sclerosis. Before we ring in 2016, let’s take a look back at all the progress made and lessons learned this year.

Biggest MS Headlines in 2015

There were a lot of attention-grabbing headlines in 2015. Here’s a look at the top stories:

2015 MS Research Funding

MS research is paid for by non-profit organizations, government programs, pharmaceutical companies, and private foundations. Here are some of the research funding highlights from 2015:

2015 MS Progress Report 

It’s frustrating that there’s no cure for MS, but it’s helpful to know that many people are working hard to find it. Anytime you’re having doubts about that, read this recap of progress made in 2015 toward creating a world free of MS.

Finding Answers for Progressive MS
Progressive MS was declared a top priority by the National MS Society in 2015. The recently formed International Progressive MS Alliance (IPMSA) focuses on finding answers and potential treatments for people with progressive ms who currently have very few options. Here is a summary of the Alliance’s progress:

  • Ocrelizumab was found to be an effective treatment for progressive MS through clinical trials that concluded in 2015. It will be submitted to the FDA for approval in early 2016.
  • A clinical trial for Laquinimod, an oral treatment, began recruiting participants.
  • Multiple projects investigating the use of stem cells to treat progressive ms are underway.
  • Recent research showed that Biotin, an over-the-counter supplement, may improve disability.
  • A phase-II trial for Ibudilast, a potential medication for progressive MS, launched.

New and Ongoing MS Clinical Trials
It’s hopeful to know that there are many clinical trials in the works for treating MS. Here’s the rundown of current trials:

  • Phase III of a trial for oral Ponesimod, a potential treatment for RRMS and SPMS, began this year.
  • Results of a Phase II clinical trial suggested that a pill used to treat epilepsy, phenytoin, may slow MS progression.
  • A trial of an oral medication for RRMS, RPC1063, was launched this year.
  • Studies suggest that a medication called Anti-Lingo-1 has the potential to reverse MS damage and restore function.
  • Multiple stem cell trials are ongoing.
  • Results of a phase II trial suggest that estriol, a female sex hormone that increases during pregnancy, can potentially reduce relapses by 32% when taken with Copaxone.
  • Phase III results for Daclizumab, a once-a-month treatment for RRMS, showed that it is more effective than interferons in reducing relapse rates and the accumulation of new lesions.
  • A phase I trial of rHIgM22, a potential new treatment for relapses, launched this year.
  • Trials on diet, gut, myelin repair, and patient centered wellness programs are ongoing.
  • Researchers are looking at whether a bladder medication, Solofenacin, could repair myelin.
  • Studies are investigating the use of a blood pressure medication, Guanabenz, to reduce MS damage.

Reducing MS Symptoms, Slowing and Stopping MS Progression
Research on how to manage MS while we wait for a cure is vital. Scientists are making new, important discoveries in this area all the time. Here’s an overview of what they found in 2015:

Article by: 
photo of writerStephanie Buxhoeveden MSCN, FNP-BC Stephanie is a nurse practitioner who was diagnosed with MS at age 25. Shortly after being diagnosed she realized she could use her experiences as a patient to make a difference in the lives of others, so she became a multiple sclerosis certified nurse. Stephanie completed her master’s in nursing at Rutgers University, and now specializes in the care of people with MS and other neurological diseases.

Her blog,, offers a unique perspective on MS from both a healthcare provider’s point of view, and through the eyes of a person living with the disease every day. Her mission is to bring compassion, humor, and a deeper understanding of MS to anyone who reads it. She also writes, MSFocus Magazine, serves as a District Activist Leader for the National MS Society and is on the membership committee of iConquerMS.

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