Our NIHR Sheffield BRC Clinical Team Lead, Alex Radford, is backing a major new fundraising appeal by Sheffield Hospitals Charity which could bring new hope to people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
MS affects more than 100,000 people in the UK and is the most common cause of physical disability in young adults. It can cause pain, fatigue, problems with memory and thinking, speech and vision problems, but most noticeably, loss of mobility.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a prolonged disease where the immune system attacks the nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord which can seriously impact on a person’s quality of life.
Alex Radford, Senior Research Sister at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and NIHR Sheffield BRC Clinical Team Lead said: “Multiple Sclerosis is a life changing illness and this project could bring hope to thousands of people who are affected by this disease. The work we do here in Sheffield is vital and with renowned international researchers working on the project and your support, we can progress and make advancements towards finding better treatments.”
The charity has set up the ‘MS Appeal’ to help fund research into improving new ways to measure and track the progression of the disease as there is currently no cure for MS. They are seeking to fundraise £200,000 for the three-year project and need £70,000 for the project to commence – so far £27,000 has been raised.
The funds raised from the appeal will enable researchers to improve MS treatments, prevent the development of the disease and improve the overall quality of life for patients.
The project, led by Professor John Snowden and Professor Basil Sharrack, aims to build on their clinical research into a new Stem Cell Therapy (AHSCT). This therapy destroys the faulty immune system that causes MS, which is then replaced by a new healthy one, grown from a patient’s own stem cells. The results have been amazing, for the first time ever clinicians have been able to reverse disability in some patients – stopping MS, right in its tracks.
Stem cell therapy is an aggressive treatment and doesn’t work for everyone. The research will look at finding a way to predict which patients are likely to benefit from it and find new therapies for those who won’t.
For more information on how you can support the MS Research Appeal or to make a donation, please visit https://www.sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/appeal/msresearch