Funding Research in Progressive MS: Kathy Zackowski, PhD, OTR


The senior director of patient management, care, and rehabilitation research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society discussed the importance of fundraising events to further MS research.

“Because of COVID, our donor events have been really limited because we can't do them in person. Our research is funded by people who donate to the National MS Society. So, I want to encourage people to participate in these National MS Society donor events - there are walks, bike rides, even virtual events, just to try to keep research moving forward. It's really important that people are aware that those events are how we continue moving research forward.”

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, along with other multiple sclerosis (MS) organizations from across the world that make up the International Progressive MS Alliance, has published a paper calling for action in the field of progressive MS to prioritize certain areas of research. The alliance aims to identify and bring to attention important issues in progressive MS that need more research and funding.

First author Kathy Zackowski, PhD, OTR, senior director of patient management, care, and rehabilitation research, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and colleagues isolated 4 key areas that they believe need to be targeted in progressive MS research: fatigue, pain, mobility and upper extremity impairment, and cognitive impairment. They stressed the importance of investigating these areas in progressive MS in addition to relapsing MS, which is where most research is currently focused.

NeurologyLive spoke with Zackowski to learn more about ongoing research in progressive MS as well as further research she would like to see conducted. She encouraged people to participate in donor events as the funds raised are what help drive these research efforts.

Zackowski KM, Freeman J, Brichetto G, et al. Prioritizing progressive MS rehabilitation research: A call from the International Progressive MS Alliance. Mult Scler J. Published online March 15, 2021. doi: 10.1177/1352458521999970
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