A new national grant will allow expanded research and data management at the University at Buffalo's Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence.
UB will share in a $2.5 million grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The grant, announced July 1, supports the research, coordination and data management efforts of a nine-center national network engaged in collaborative study diseases in children.
Located at the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, the center is operated by the hospital and UB's Department of Neurology.
Although MS is often considered an adult disease, it affects as many as 10,000-15,000 American children.
Dr. Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, professor of neurology and director of the UB's pediatric MS center, said the renewed support advances research on the pediatric MS population that will provide important data to better understand the disease and hopefully researchers closer to better treating and eventually preventing MS.
The funds follows an initial grant for $1.8 million awarded in 2006. That grant funded the creation of the MS pediatric network by UB and five other sites.
Other centers in the network now include Children's Hospital Boston, Loma Linda University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Stony Brook University Medical Center, Texas Children's Hospital, University of Alabama at Birmingham and University of California, San Francisco.
The network also includes the University of Utah Data Coordinating and Analysis Center, which provides patient registry and center collaboration services.
With one of the nation's highest prevalence rates of MS, the Buffalo region stands to gain in particular.
Areas of research include genetic and environmental risk factors for MS; the cognitive status of children who have MS or acute disseminated encephalomyelitis events; as well as volume changes in the brain's thalamus region.