Sunday, September 14, 2014


Something big happened in Boston at the end of the week.  MS Boston 2014 aka The Joint ACTRIMS-ECTRIMS (Americas Committee For Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis and Europe. . .) Meeting was held here with over 8,000 scientists in attendance who are researching MS.

It was the biggest MS conference ever and tons of research was presented.  It was a big deal and I was honored to be invited to two different aspects of it and wanted to share a little about it with all of you!

The National MS Society of Greater New England invited me to be in the live studio audience during a live webcast titled "Research Advances from the World's Largest MS Meeting." The panel included Dr. Philip DeJager from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Dr. Don Mahad from University of Edinburgh, Dr. Ellen Mowry from John Hopkins University and Dr. Timothy Coetzee, Chief Advocacy, Services and Research Officer for the National MS Society (in simple terms - 4 VERY smart people)!

Photo by Steve Sookikian of NMSS
In the hour broadcast we heard a summary of much of the research that had been presented in the previous days including information about Progressive MS (including a new $30 million dollar grant that will go toward research specific to Progressive MS), genetics, wellness and rehabilitation, and repair and protection.

They talked about risk factors for MS (smoking, history of mono, obesity, family history - NONE of which I have - go figure) and how those risk factors combined make for an even stronger pre-disposition for MS then add to that a specific gene and BOOM you've got MS.  Still doesn't really make sense to me since I have none of the major risk factors but still very interesting info!

They also talked about myelin repair which 20 years ago was not even something scientists thought was possible and today they DO!!!  They feel in the next few years they will learn even more about this which could mean so much for MS patients living with disability.

This was my view from the back of the room!  We were at WGBH which just happens to be right down the street from where I live.  During the broadcast people could write in and ask questions which were answered live.  We could also write down questions which were answered.  Very cool!

It was so interesting to hear about all of the currently going on and to know so much more is in the works.  The MS community of scientists are the first to combine their efforts to share their research and work TOGETHER (what a novel idea right?!)  Scientists are usually competitive but they finally realized they would have better luck at figuring out this crazy thing called MS if they worked together.  So glad they were able to put their competitiveness aside for my/our benefit.

I don't think the webcast has been posted yet but it will be so check back here to watch it for yourself.  You'll feel so inspired and hopeful.  I feel so grateful that these very smart men and women are working so hard to find a cure for me!

{Linking up with Leeann and Kimberly}


  1. Very cool that you got to go to this, and that a group studying MS is collaborating like that.

  2. I'd be interested in learning more about those risk factors. Can you let me know when the webcast is posted online?

    I definitely have family history with my Mom having MS. I hadn't heard of obesity being one of the risk factors until now - so I'm glad at least I'm actively working on weight loss using Weight Watchers.