Edmonton

Multiple Sclerosis project targets earlier detection

Albertans with multiple sclerosis are hoping a research project at the University of Alberta will leader to earlier detection and better treatment of the disease.

University of Alberta researchers hope study could ease or even halt symptoms

The University of Alberta is the site of a research project aimed at improving the life of people with multiple sclerosis. (CBC News)

Albertans with multiple sclerosis are hoping a research project at the University of Alberta will lead to earlier detection and better treatment of the disease.

“Having this research done right here in Alberta is quite significant and exciting because MS is a terrible disease,” said Julie Kelendorfer, an MS patient who works with the MS Society.
MS Society of Canada spokesperson Julie Kelendorfer calls multiple sclerosis a terrible disease.

The $1.4 million Multiple Sclerosis Experimental Therapeutics Program is looking at ways to detect and diagnose multiple sclerosis earlier in patients.

It will also try to develop therapies to halt and even reverse some of the symptoms in people living with the disease.

“It's a difficult disease to live with and so any support and research is imperative to people feeling hopeful,” Kelendorfer said.

The project will be funded by the province and Biogen Idec, an U.S.-based biotechnology company.

Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world. About 14,000 Albertans live with MS.

Multiple sclerosis is thought to be an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system.

Symptoms include extreme fatigue, lack of coordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensation, vision problems, bladder problems, cognitive impairment and mood changes.