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EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL 6 PM ET, April 13, 2011

University of Pennsylvania Researcher Awarded $240,000 for Multiple Sclerosis Research

Fellowship Funded by National Multiple Sclerosis Society and AAN Foundation

HONOLULU – A Pennsylvania researcher will receive $240,000 to continue his study of impaired vision and fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), through the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and American Academy of Neurology Foundation Clinician-Scientist Development Award. Salim Chahin, MD, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, was awarded the fellowship for his work investigating the relationship between a loss of cells in the retina and impaired vision and fatigue in patients with MS. The three-year award will consist of an annual salary of $75,000, plus $5,000 per year in educational expenses. The award is designed to encourage MS clinical research with the goal of providing better treatment, prevention or cure of the disease. The fellowship will be presented during the American Academy of Neurology’s 63rd Annual Meeting in Honolulu, the world’s largest meeting of neurologists with more than 10,000 attendees. Clinical research is the fundamental transition stage between discovery and treatment. Clinical research provides the scientific basis for all forms of care, addresses patient and caregiver needs, and is the backbone for drug development and cost-effectiveness studies needed to improve lives. Fellowships provide recipients with up to three years of “protected time,” with salary that allows them to continue important research projects in their chosen interests. Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system that disrupts communication between the brain and other parts of the body. MS patients experience muscle weakness in their extremities and difficulty with coordination and balance, among other symptoms. The symptoms may be mild or severe enough to impair walking or even standing. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS vary from one person to another. There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis at this time, but there are therapies available that may slow the disease and improve quality of life. The National MS Society addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, collaborating with MS organizations around the world, and providing programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. In 2010 alone, through its national office and 50-state network of chapters, the Society devoted over $161 million to programs that enhanced more than one million lives. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested more than $37 million to support 325 research projects around the world. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Join the movement at www.nationalMSsociety.org.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 22,500 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com.


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