UK MS Society Tissue Bank funding renewed

Published date: 20 Oct 2014 at 2:12PM

We have committed a further £1.26 million to the MS Society Tissue Bank at Imperial College London, so that they can continue their important work for another five years.

Providing invaluable resources

Some research questions can only be addressed by using tissue from people with MS. For example, what cells and molecules are present in the brain? Are those molecules responsible for damage, or are they useful for repair?

By providing researchers from around the world with tissue samples, the Tissue Bank makes answering these questions possible.

We have been funding the Tissue Bank for over 15 years and they have provided more than 10,000 samples for laboratories so far. The facility is co-funded by Parkinson’s UK, so it also provides resources for the study of Parkinson’s disease.

Major discoveries for MS

Scientists have used samples from the Tissue Bank to discover that people with MS who have increased spinal cord damage also carry a specific genetic variant. They can use this information to understand how MS progresses and to work towards treatments that are better tailored for certain people.    

Samples have also been used to find out more about the role the immune system plays in the development of MS. Researchers found that a specific type of B lymphocyte (cells of the immune system) are only present in the brain when the person has MS. These B cells are thought to cause damage within the brain, and the development of drugs that can get into the brain and remove them could be beneficial for people with MS.

Get involved

These advances are made possible by people joining the Tissue Bank and donating their organs to research. Donations are welcomed from people with and without MS, so that comparisons can be made.

Professor Richard Reynolds, Scientific Director of the Tissue Bank says, “We would like to thank all those involved in the tissue bank for their continuing support for this vital part of our fight against MS. Together we can be proud that we are enabling vital MS research in the UK and around the globe.”

Find out more about how to join the Tissue Bank  and other ways to get involved in research. 

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Page last updated: 20 Oct 2014
Together we can be proud that we are enabling vital MS research in the UK and around the globe.
Professor Richard Reynolds, Scientific Director of the Tissue Bank
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