29 May 2012 | General, BMBS
1 000 Faces - World MS Day

World MS Day (WMSD) is the only global awareness raising campaign for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a chronic, often disabling disease which affects more than 2 000 000 people in the world. The networking efforts of COST Action BM0603 'Inflammation in Brain Disease (NEURINFNET)' contributed to the research on mechanisms underlying the pathology of this disease.

World MS day logo

MS is a disease of the central nervous system in which the interplay between inflammatory and neurodegenerative processes typically results in neurological disturbances followed by progressive disability. The symptoms can vary from mild numbness in the limbs to severe paralysis or loss of vision.

NEURINFNET aimed to gain new understanding of neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative processes as they occur in MS but also Alzheimer's disease (AD) so as to facilitate development of improved therapies by drawing together knowledge from study of individual diseases.

Ending in June 2011, the Action successfully established a network involving 18 countries and over 80 active members from both neuro-inflammation (MS) and neuro-degeneration (AD) research fields. This collaboration has led to the determination that genetic risks and a primary role of inflammation are key components in aetiology of MS. These collaborative efforts have led to the identification of more than 20 new genetic risk markers and to the characterisation of new disease signatures in MS.

The Action bridged two research areas which were traditionally considered to be distinct - integrating research and clinical perspectives in inflammatory and neurodegenerative brain diseases.

The achievements of this Action have also had a direct impact on:

  • the development of improved disease prediction, 
  • the monitoring of disease progression,
  • the treatment efficacy in multiple sclerosis patients

WMSD was launched in 2009 with over 200 events in 67 countries and has continued to grow every year. This year, it is celebrated on 30 May 2012. The 2012 campaign is built around a 1000 Faces of MS concept, which puts people with MS at the heart of the campaign.

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