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