Cheryl, 48, is such a strong woman, and she tries to stay positive despite the debilitating, unpredictable pain, muscle spasms and extreme fatigue she endures. She has multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system, for which there is currently no cure.
Cheryl’s particular experience of MS means her vitality and strength are slipping further away each year. She is losing her vision and independence. Cheryl can no longer play hockey with her daughters like she used to. She has always given 100% to her job, but she now struggles to keep up in the hospital kitchen where she works. Even driving to the shops has become impossible at times due to her temporary vision loss.
Above all, Cheryl hates asking for help – but now she can’t get by without it.
Despite the progress made thanks to MS research, the key to a cure is yet to be found for people like Cheryl.
One leading Australian scientist is taking a fascinating new approach to try and unlock the secrets of MS, and you can help accelerate research like his.
Associate Professor Brad Sutherland – an expert in vascular biology – is pursuing a theory on MS which has been “understudied” until now. The research project he is leading is focused on blood flow to the brain and how it links to the fundamental mechanics of MS development.
My research opens up new opportunities. If we can better understand what causes MS, we can find ways to prevent this disease or achieve the goal of a cure.”
Associate Professor Sutherland’s ambition is to uncover new information about cells on blood vessels at the blood-brain barrier, and how they may trigger the onset of MS. As he explains:
“Our blood vessels are like pipes that carry blood and nutrients to the brain. We need a constant flow through those pipes for healthy brain function.
“The pipes are held together and supported by a network of nuts and bolts (which are our cells). Sometimes, when those cells are faulty, they can cause leaks. Those leaks can allow harmful molecules to enter the brain and cause damage to important tissue.
“My research is focusing on these nuts and bolts of the pipe – cells found on capillaries called pericytes – to see if the structure and function of the blood vessels is impaired in MS, and whether this is a trigger for the disease.”
The potential for his research findings could be life-changing.
“It’s the foundation we need to learn how to prevent the disease, develop ways of improving treatment and achieve our ultimate goal of finding a cure and stopping MS altogether.”
Donations will help fund vital research projects that will build critical knowledge of MS, aiming to prevent and ultimately cure MS.
These projects will help to build on the progress already made through investment in MS medical research, to bring a final and complete end to the distress and limitation MS inflicts on lives.
And ultimately, your gift could give back people like Cheryl with MS control over their lives – and futures.
Please support MS research – www.fundmsresearch.org.au