Skip to navigation Skip to content

Ending the Disease Forever

END: A World Free of MS
Watch Video


In this article

End MS Forever

Ending MS means no one else hears the words, “you have MS.” The cause of MS is not yet known, but progress has been made in identifying factors that increase a person’s chances of developing MS. Learning more about all of these factors may lead to a way to intervene and  prevent MS before it occurs.

Here are just a few examples of Society-funded research teams leading the way:

The MS “Prodrome”

There is growing consensus that MS has a “prodrome,” an early phase of unspecific symptoms that can be experienced well before a person is diagnosed. Catching the disease earlier would improve treatment outcomes. Kjetil Bjornevik, MD, PhD (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA) and team are testing the possibility in two large ongoing studies of women nurses. Looking back in time, they are comparing those who eventually developed MS with those who did not, looking for early signs such as treatment for depression or anxiety, lower physical activity, and higher incidence of nerve conditions, pain, tiredness, and bladder complaints. Learn more about the MS prodrome in a RealTalk MS podcast

Exploring EBV

The Epstein-Barr virus, which most people have been exposed to, has been identified as a likely trigger for MS in combination with other factors. Allan Kermode, MD (University of Western Australia, Perth) and colleagues are determining if components of the brain that are mistakenly targeted by the immune system in MS are similar to components of the Epstein-Barr virus. The team is identifying what immune cells are involved in this misfire through sophisticated lab techniques. Read a blog about the role of EBV in triggering MS.

Genetic Studies

More than 200 genes variations have been identified through multiple research studies that may contribute to people’s susceptibility to developing MS. However, the vast majority of these studies were performed in people of European ancestry. Ashley Beecham, PhD (University of Miami) and colleagues are narrowing the search for MS genes in 2500 Hispanics/Latinx people with MS and 1500 Black people with MS. Identifying the genes linked to their susceptibility to MS will enable more targeted treatment strategies that benefit individuals from diverse backgrounds. Participate in genetic studies

National MS Brain Bank

Philip De Jager, MD, PhD (Columbia University, New York, NY) has joined with Yale University’s David Pitt, MD, and Daniel Reich, MD, PhD, of the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke, to build a state-of-the-art MS tissue bank. The team is enrolling people with MS and others for the National MS Brain Bank. They will link clinical information and imaging scans with an in-depth characterization of brain tissue obtained from autopsy. This brain bank will serve as a major resource to the scientific community, enabling researchers to make key observations about the development of MS and how to end it forever. Learn more about this state-of-the-art resource

Explore research projects supported by the Society

Learn about all of the research projects we are funding to stop MS in its tracks, restore function, and end MS forever

We’ve never been closer to a cure – learn more about the End pathway and other Pathways to Cures for MS

Read about Society-funded research to Stop MS
Read about Society-funded research to Restore function

Research news about ending the disease forever

More News


The National MS Society is Here to Help

Newly Diagnosed
If you or somone close to you has recently been diagnosed, access our MS information and resources.

Start Here

Start Here
© 2024 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.