Improving Progressive MS Research: Kathy Zackowski, PhD, OTR

The senior director of patient management, care, and rehabilitation research at the National MS Society discussed her recently published paper that called for progressive MS research.

“What we did in the paper was to try to identify these 4 symptoms and to provide some rationale for particular knowledge gaps that still exist. There are particular questions that we wanted scientists and clinicians to think about, so that we could move the field forward, at least in these 4 symptoms to start with.”

Multiple sclerosis (MS) organizations across the world, together making up the International Progressive MS Alliance, have published a paper that calls for action in the field of progressive MS to prioritize certain areas of research. The groups aimed 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, patient management, care, and rehabilitation research, National MS Society, and colleagues, isolated 4 symptoms that they believe need to be targeted in progressive MS research: fatigue, pain, mobility and upper extremity impairment, and cognitive impairment. They stressed the fact that research in these symptoms is mostly done in relapsing MS as opposed to progressive MS.

NeurologyLive spoke with Zackowski to learn more about strategies to forward research in progressive MS and this call to action. She shared her hopes that the paper will prompt thought and push clinicians and researchers toward further advancements.

REFERENCE
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