$1 million grant for multiple sclerosis research

23 May 2013

Minister for Health and Ageing Tanya Plibersek and Professor Ian Hickie.
Minister for Health and Ageing Tanya Plibersek and Professor Ian Hickie.

Minister for Health and Ageing Tanya Plibersek attended the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI) on Wednesday 22 May, to announce the federal government's commitment to multiple sclerosis research with a $1 million dollar grant to Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia (MSRA).

Professor Ian Hickie, Executive Director of the BMRI said: "The concentration of efforts between the University of Sydney's BMRI, MSRA and the local health district is a research partnership that has enabled innovative clinical trials and fundamental research to happen in the one place."

Through this partnership, the MSRA brain banking facilities have been established at the BMRI, and Associate Professor Michael Barnett is leading the BMRI site in the largest Vitamin D trial in the world, investigating whether a simple intervention like Vitamin D may actually help to slow progression of MS have been achieved.

In Australia, 23,000 people are living with the uncertainty of MS, and it is the most common cause of neurological disability in young adults. MS has a huge economic impact on people with the disease and their carers.

The BMRI is home to world-leading researchers in MS and neuropathology - most recently joined by Associate Professor Michael Buckland, Clinical Associate Professor in Pathology and the Head of the Department of Neuropathology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Tanya Plibersek, Federal Minister for Health said: "I'm very pleased today be announcing a million dollars towards the ongoing research efforts around MS. I certainly think that the work that's happening here at the BMRI is so critical. It really exhibits the best in complementary treatments and research with the clinical work happening at the same time as clinical trials."

MSRA leverage every dollar of funding to maintain Australia's high levels of expertise in MS research and accelerate efforts toward the prevention, better treatments and a cure for MS. Today's funding announcement is part of an ongoing government commitment to science and medical research.

Jeremy Wright, CEO MSRA said: "From all of us, especially from people with MS, a big thank you to the government for this announcement."

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