Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. The latest research estimates nearly 1 million Americans live with MS, and millions more worldwide. The exact mechanism that drives MS is not entirely understood, but it is understood to be involves an immune-mediated process in which the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves). Over time, the disease can deteriorate or permanently damage the nerves. Symptoms tend to vary depending on the nerves affected and the damage caused. Some people experience periods of new symptoms interspersed with periods of remission, while others have a progressive course of continually worsening disability. As of today, there is no cure for Multiple Sclerosis, but here are some of the incredible milestones in MS research that Team Menstrual Cycles has supported through the NMSS since our first ride in 2008.
- A 10,000 patient MS genomics study which has identified 200 genetic variations linked with MS
- Approval of the first oral medications for MS therapy — three separate drugs have been approved since 2010
- Approval of a series of monoclonal antibody therapies for MS, the most recent being Ocrevus, the first FDA approved medication to fight progressive MS
- Several consortiums and programs formed to accelerate the development of MS innovations
- Positive research results in stem cell therapy, myelin repair, dietary and environmental risks, vitamin D supplementation, gut microbiome, and more
Learn more about MS here.