For Immediate Release
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Feinstein Kean Healthcare
Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis is One-thousand Steps Closer To a Cure for MS
Nonprofit has collected 1,000 blood and data samples from MS sufferers and controls across the U.S.; Samples will be used in dozens of individual research studies this year
(Waltham, MA April 22, 2008) -- Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis, a national nonprofit organization, today announced that they have completed their initial drive to collect one thousand blood and data samples to build the largest openly accessible, multi-disciplinary repository ever assembled for use in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) research.
This is a major milestone for the Accelerated Cure Project, says Art Mellor, founder of the Accelerated Cure Project. Limited sample size is one of the most frequently cited reasons for inconclusive results in MS research. Our repository provides researchers with immediate access to a far greater number of samples than most scientists could collect themselves.
In addition, the repository will provide a common population of samples useful for a wide variety of different studies, which will enable results from different research perspectives to be easily combined and correlated. The repository contains various types of samples and data that can support scientists working in many fields - genetics, nutrition, virology, and more. Researchers gaining access to the repository must return their results to the database to be shared with other researchers; this will allow cross-correlation of their results with all other studies performed using the same samples.
Subjects enrolled in the repository will be followed over time to allow new samples to be taken and to record important changes in clinical status. Studying the same sample population over time, and pooling knowledge in a central database, is a major step toward understanding what causes MS, thereby accelerating a cure.
Additionally, samples and data are collected from a number of other similar diseases including Transverse Myelitis, Neuromyelitis Optica, ADEM, and Optic Neuritis to enable studies in these rare neurological disorders and to provide controls for MS studies.
Contributing to the success of the project is an impressive list of research centers across the country that have joined Accelerated Cure Project as collection sites for the repository. These include Johns Hopkins Medical Center (Baltimore, MD), University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center (Worcester, MA), University of Texas Southwestern (Dallas, TX), Multiple Sclerosis Research Center of New York (New York, NY), Barrow Neurological Institute (Phoenix, AZ) and the Shepherd Center (Atlanta, GA).
The Accelerated Cure Project intends to continue collecting samples from as many as 10,000 subjects for its MS Repository. If you have MS (or another demyelinating disease) or are related to someone with MS and would like to participate in the project, please call 781/487-0008, visit acceleratedcure.org/repository, or send an email to info-web1207acceleratedcure.org.
About Accelerated Cure Project
Accelerated Cure Project for MS (ACP) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate efforts toward a cure for multiple sclerosis (MS) by rapidly advancing research that determines its causes and mechanisms. We provide biomedical researchers with resources that catalyze open scientific collaboration and enable them to explore their novel research ideas rapidly and cost-efficiently. ACP’s strategic initiatives include the Multiple Sclerosis Discovery Forum and the ACP Repository, a large-scale collection of highly-characterized biosamples available to scientists at any organization conducting research that contributes to our mission. All results generated through analysis of Repository samples and data are contributed back to the ACP Repository Database, resulting in an increasingly valuable and comprehensive information resource that can be analyzed to reveal new insights about MS. To date, ACP has enrolled almost 3,000 participants into the Repository through a network of 10 MS clinical centers across the United States. The samples provided by people with MS and related disorders have supported more than 60 research studies worldwide and generated more than 150 million returned data points.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system that often results in severe disability including the inability to walk, blindness, cognitive dysfunction, extreme fatigue, and other serious symptoms. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the US and two million individuals worldwide. The disorder occurs twice as often in women as in men. What causes MS is undetermined and no cure has yet been developed.