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Chapter 3 reviews what is known about the prevalence, causes, impact, and treatment of specific symptoms of MS such as fatigue, spasticity, and visual disturbances.

Chapter 4 focuses on the lives of people with MS and strategies for adapting to the illness. It also reviews the tools that are most important for research aimed at improving the lives of people with MS, specifically the tools that measure quality of life and functional status.

Chapter 5 looks forward and discusses research strategies and techniques that have the greatest potential to reveal new insights into the biology of the disease, insights that are likely to be crucial in the development of effective treatments.

Chapter 6 also looks forward, in this case reviewing critical issues and research for developing specific therapeutic strategies, with an emphasis on disease-modifying therapies. This chapter includes a discussion of challenges inherent in designing appropriate clinical trials in MS research.

Chapter 7 discusses building and supporting the research enterprise necessary to facilitate the most effective research strategies for MS.

Finally, Chapter 8 collates the key recommendations that emerge from discussions in the preceding chapters.


1. Asbury AK, Goldsmith CH. 1987. The role of voluntary agencies in the funding of biomedical research. N Engl J Med.; 316: 1665.

2. Ewart WR, Silberberg DH, Wekerle H. 1998. Review and development of a strategic plan of MS research. London, UK: MS Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

3. Mairs N. 1996. Waist-high in the world. A life among the nondisabled. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

4. National Advisory Commission on Multiple Sclerosis. 1974. Report and Recommendations: An Overview. Bethesda, Maryland: National Institutes of Health; Volume One.

5. National Multiple Sclerosis Society. 1996. Strategic Planning Retreat for Research and Training Programs. Washington, DC: National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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