Ann Romney, wife of former US presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1998. After struggling for three long years with the horrible effects of the disease, she eventually started to bounce back and has fared well since. Today, she is spearheading a sweeping MS study.
Although there have been many advances in the treatment of this disease, there still remains ample uncertainty over how and why the early stages of MS can “wax and wane” so dramatically. In her new book, “In this Together,” (2015) she describes her MS journey and recounts the stories of many fellow MS patients who had given up on medication when initial treatments proved unsuccessful.
Romney has volunteered to be one of the first 2,000 participants in a new study called SysteMS, which will focus on discovering why certain people with MS will thrive for decades, while others end up debilitated for years. “The research is a collaborative effort from the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston; the drug company Biogen, which makes several MS medication; and Google, which will handle the sensor tracking and data analysis.” The volunteers in this study will wear activity sensors, answer frequent questionnaires and allow deep biologic profiling of their genes.
Hopefully the more in depth data from this study, will help give a better understanding of the course of the disease, so that the best therapy can be determined for each person diagnosed with MS.
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