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This Holiday Season Some Dream of a White Christmas - The Accelerated Cure Project Dreams of Developing a Cure for Multiple Sclerosis
Date:12/18/2007

ture on MS research he was disappointed to discover that most results were considered to be inconclusive because of the limited number of samples used in the research. Equally discouraging was his discovery that there was no mechanism in place that would enable researchers in different fields to cross- correlate the results of their findings

"As an engineer by training, it seemed clear to me that if you're looking at a disease that is caused by a combination of factors, we could expedite finding that combination by studying each factor using a common set of samples and then correlating the results," says Mellor.

To overcome the barrier of limited sample size, his organization is dedicated to collecting thousands of samples and making them available to researchers. To help connect the dots in the complex pattern of research results, his organization has created an interdisciplinary database that will help researchers uncover the most promising directions for future study, and thereby accelerate the cure by uncovering the causes.

According to Dr. Benjamin Greenberg, an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for the Department of Neurology, "This is the most comprehensive approach to MS research to date. If this works, we might not only have a model for curing MS, but other multifactorial diseases."

A hypothetical example might involve a geneticist who wants to look for unique genetic markers that may predispose people the develop MS and a virologist who is looking for evidence of past infections as potential triggers for MS. The Accelerated Cure Project would provide a common set of samples from people with MS to each researcher and enter the results of their research into their database. Then they would use sophisticated data analysis techniques to search for patterns - such as a set of genes that coincide with a particular virus. Over time, discovery of patterns such as this would help to eliminate some potential causes a
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SOURCE Accelerated Cure Project
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