Important Multiple Sclerosis Research Grants Announced

Apr 21, 2015, 13:27 ET from Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases

LOS ANGELES, April 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Disease (AFRFND) joined with the International Society of Neurovascular Diseases ( in the Fall of 2014 to request proposals in clinical and basic science research into neurovascular disease emphasizing the relationship to multiple sclerosis (MS) and neurodegeneration.

Numerous international submissions were judged by a scientific review panel and four grantees were announced by Society President, Professor Ziv J Haskal M.D. at the 5th annual scientific meeting of the ISNVD in Naples Italy on March 28:

  • Melbourne's Dr. Helen Kavnoudias, PhD: randomised, double-blinded, controlled (with sham) study of percutaneous transluminal angioplasty for extracranial vein stenoses in patients with multiple sclerosis. (Clinical angioplasty treatment trial CCSVI in MS)
  • Buffalo's Dr. Robert Zivadinov: A case-control, 5-year follow-up study of cardiovascular, environmental and genetic risk factors for disease progression in patients with multiple sclerosis (CEG-MS study).
  • Milan's Dr. Maria Lagana PhD: Combined study of neurodegeneration, cerebrovascular reactivity and venous drainage impairments in Parkinson's Disease (PD) and Multiple Sclerosis (CCSVI in PD & MS)
  • Shreveport's Dr J Stephen Alexander: 'Diagnostic and prognostic use of neurolymphatic biomarkers in Multiple Sclerosis'. (MS-CCSVI biomarker)

"With these grants, the AFRFND takes a substantial step forward in directly supporting sophisticated research into palliating, treating and curing neurovascular diseases, such as MS.  Our grant winners represent a remarkably broad range of study, from controlled trials to basic receptor science. I expect great things," said Haskal, Professor of Interventional Radiology at the University of Virginia and Editor of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.  "The submissions were very diverse—I'm looking forward to the reports from these interesting and potentially pivotal studies," said Professor Michael Dake,M.D., Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford University.

"ISNVD began exploring the controversial CCSVI theory, which has been widely covered in Canadian and Italian news, in 2010. We've supported their work with great results," said AFRFND Chairman, Glen Holt. "With these grants we aim towards meaningful diagnostic and treatment strategies.  Grantees will be invited to present preliminary findings at ISNVD in 2016, with final results expected a year later."

The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases is a 501(c)3 non-profit has a specific interest in supporting clinical studies that seek to expose the underlying cause of neurodegenerative diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, and therapies that show promise of reversing disease progression. 


SOURCE Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases