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Multiple Sclerosis

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

MS is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. The central nervous system includes the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve, which means MS can affect vision, memory, balance and mobility. The severity, duration and disability associated with MS fluctuates and can vary person to person  It can also be progressive, and be interspersed with periods of wellness.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) research is a long-standing focus area at the University of Calgary and at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, where basic and clinical researchers support a cyclical process of discovery and translation, contributing to new treatments for people living with MS.

If you would like to contribute to further research on causes and treatments of multiple sclerosis, please visit our donation page.

Research Impact


Common acne medication offers new treatment for MS

HBI researchers show that minocycline, a common acne medication, can slow the progress of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) in people who have recently experienced their first symptoms.

microscope analysis

UCalgary scientists discover a new way to battle multiple sclerosis

HBI research challenges conventional thinking about the root cause of MS. Researchers started to investigate treatments to stop the degeneration of the myelin.


Team defines mechanisms used by microglia

The team determined that microglia, a cell type in the brain, could be made to remove the oxidized phosphatidylcholines (oxPCs) by eating them away. The oxPCs are a potent driver of neurodegeneration.

Quick Facts

Quick Facts

Understanding Multiple Sclerosis

brain scan

Causes of MS are Unknown

The cause of MS remains a mystery. The best current evidence suggests that lifestyle, environmental, genetic and biological factors could all contribute. Research is exploring each area for further information.


Myelin Distress Damages Nerves

Myelin is the protective covering of the nerves, and is necessary for transmitting nerve impulses around the body.. Multiple sclerosis attacks the myelin, causing inflammation and often damaging the myelin, disrupting and sometimes completely inhibiting nerve impulse transmission.


Symptoms of MS

Myelin damage can happen anywhere in the body, and can cause extreme fatigue, lack of coordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensation, vision problems, bladder problems, cognitive impairment and mood changes.

Research Highlights