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World First!

Funding announced for a clinical trial of vitamin D for the prevention of MS

The Trish Multiple Sclerosis Research Foundation is providing vital funding to initiate a study into Vitamin D for the prevention of MS.   

The Trish Foundation has joined forces with the MS Society Western Australia to kick-start this much-needed MS Research Australia Platform Program.  

There is growing evidence that low exposure to sunlight and low blood levels of vitamin D (the 'sunshine vitamin') are risk factors for multiple sclerosis (MS). As a result, people with MS are often encouraged to take vitamin D supplements in the hope of reducing symptoms and slowing the progression of disability.  

This recommendation has not, however, been fully tested in a scientific study. As yet there is no proof that vitamin D supplements can prevent MS or reduce the frequency of symptoms and no agreement on the ideal dose of vitamin D.  

This exciting project, funded by the Trish MS Research Foundation and the MS Society of WA, will be coordinated by MS Research Australia and based at the Florey Neuroscience Institutes in Melbourne.  It will be the first in the world with the power to prove that vitamin D is a safe and effective method for preventing MS.  Vitamin D would provide a low cost treatment that could significantly reduce the burden of disease for people with MS and for society. 

Generous funding of $600,000 was secured to initiate this study, however the full cost of the study will run to over $1.5million over three years.  Additional funds have now been secured, enabling the much awaited PrevANZ Vitamin D MS Prevention trial to commence patient recruitment early in 2012. This ‘gold-standard’ placebo-controlled trial will determine the efficacy of vitamin D dosage to prevent MS in people at high risk of developing the condition - those experiencing their very first episode of MS symptoms.  

‘The Trish Foundation was the first to recognize how important it is to test this vitamin D intervention and to see if it can save the onset of MS. Their support is inspired and to be applauded’ said Jeremy Wright, Executive Director of MS Research Australia.  

Without the contributions of the Trish Foundation and the MS Society WA, this important study could not have proceeded.  

“We are thrilled that the Trish Foundation is again able to contribute to such a vital study,” says Trish Foundation Chairman Carol Langsford.  “It would be wonderful if our children, our children’s children and all future generations did not have to suffer from this debilitating disease.”

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Trish Foundation & MS Research Australia Working together to find a cure for MS
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