LONDON, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- With regard to Professor Charles ffrench-Constant's comments on stem cells and multiple sclerosis:

Dr Laura Bell from the MS Society said: "These are exciting times for MS research. Ten years ago there were no drugs to treat MS, but today there are a range of therapies available and a dozen more in late stage clinical trials. We're putting millions into MS research and very much hope that the new avenues we are exploring - including stem cells - will bring about major advances in the next ten years."

The MS Society is funding the MS Society Edinburgh University Centre for Translational Research, which Prof ffrench-Constant heads up, to the tune of more than GBP2 million over the next five years. 'Translational' research means helping basic (laboratory) scientists and clinicians to work closely together to speed up the development of new treatments.

This week (21 to 27 April) is MS awareness week. For more information about MS, contact the MS helpline on +44(0)808-800-8000, or visit

Notes to Editors:

- The MS Society ( is the UK's largest charity dedicated to supporting everyone whose life is touched by MS, providing respite care, an award-winning freephone helpline (+44(0)808-800-8000), specialist MS nurses and funds around 40 vital MS research projects in the UK.

- Multiple sclerosis is the most common disabling neurological disorder affecting young adults and an estimated 85,000 people in the UK have MS.

- MS is the result of damage to myelin - the protective sheath surrounding nerve fibres of the central nervous system - which interferes with messages between the brain and the body.

- For some people, MS is characterised by periods of relapse and remission while for others it has a progressive pattern.

- Symptoms range from loss of sight and mobility, fatigue, depression and cognitive problems. There is no cure and few effective treatments.

For media enquiries please contact the MS Society Press Office on +44(0)20-8438-0782, or the out of hours duty press officer on +44(0)7909-851401.