The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) has announced the six recipients of its research grant funds following a call for research proposals earlier this year.
NMSS is working in partnership with the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, who is managing the grant management process. The Department of Health - Abu Dhabi has also recently contributed AED 500,000 towards the research grant initiative.
In June 2023, NMSS launched its first ever call for research proposals, promising to offer grant funds to projects that aligned closest with its priorities, which are centered around innovative and emerging treatments that can slow, stop, or reverse multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as clinical characteristics, epidemiology, incidence and prevalence of MS in the UAE and the role of genetics in MS.
Other priorities include the suspected risk factors for MS from the UAE population, the efficiency and effect of specific treatments and the state of access to treatment in the UAE and wider region.
The society received 12 applications in response to its initiative, with the following six being selected as grant award winners: Country Wide Epidemiology of Multiple Sclerosis in the UAE from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi; LAMINATE: Longitudinal AI-based MS Lesion and Atrophy Segmentation Tool from New York University Abu Dhabi; Multiple Sclerosis in Children: Epidemiology, Clinical Characteristics, and Treatment Patterns in the Middle East and North Africa Region from Harley Street Medical Centre; Clinical Trial for Multiple Sclerosis - a Randomised, Controlled, Open-Label Study Evaluating the Safety and Efficacy of Extracorporeal Photopheresis (ECP) in Treating Multiple Sclerosis from Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center; Prediction, Timely Diagnosis, and Accurate Prognosis of Multiple Sclerosis from Multi-Modal Data using Artificial Intelligence from Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence and Addressing the Eligibility of Escalation vs. Early Intensive Approach to Treatment-Naïve Relapsing MS Patients Using MRI and Deep Learning, from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Her Excellency Dr. Fatima Al Kaabi, Vice Chair of the National MS Society Board of Trustees and Executive Director of Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant Programme (AD-BMT) at the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center (ADSCC) said: “We’re delighted to be awarding six projects grant funds to support ongoing research efforts around treatments, diagnosis and characteristics of MS in the UAE. These studies have been carefully selected because of their relevance and alignment with the goals and priorities of NMSS and will serve to support our understanding of the prevalence of MS in the UAE. Some of the projects may also provide comprehensive scientific knowledge that has the potential to advance diagnostic tools and treatment options in the UAE and, possibly around the world.
“We received 12 applications in response to our initial call for proposals, indicating the local and regional interest in conducting research on MS in the UAE. In line with our mission to support individuals and communities affected by the condition, NMSS continues to prioritise understanding of MS and commits to providing support, resources, and access to institutions in the region who share the same vision,” she added.
For more information on the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, visit www.nationalmssociety.ae.