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Past, present, and future: Therapeutics for multiple sclerosis | Peter John Darlington, PhD


For those of you who were unable to join the webinar live, the stream is now available for everyone to watch here or on YouTube.


Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects an estimated 90,000 people in Canada. People affected with MS will experience a gradual loss of neurological functions with intermittent relapses, or they may present with gradual decline in function from the onset. Quality of life diminishes, leading to loss of movement and cognition.

Research has shown that the immune system causes relapses and lesions in the brain and spinal cord, which can be slowed by immune-modulatory drugs. Early drugs such as interferons were variably effective but offered hope that a cure could be found. Subsequent research has identified several other immune-modulatory drugs and new therapies aimed at stopping the immune system and regenerating lost tissue in the central nervous system.

The talk will focus on research related to MS treatments including autologous bone marrow transplantation, new results on how adrenergic and cholinergic drugs might have potential to treat autoimmune disease, and an emerging project exploring focused ultrasound in the context of MS therapeutics. As the therapeutic options continue to grow, so does the hope that people affected by MS might have ways to substantially improve their quality of life and gain back their full health.

Speaker Bio:

Peter Darlington is an associate professor at Concordia University in the department of Health, Kinesiology & Applied Physiology. Earlier he earned a doctorate in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Western, and completed postdoctoral studies at McGill University in the Neuroimmunology Unit studying multiple sclerosis therapies.

His research team at Concordia University prides itself on diversity, teamwork, creativity, and opportunity. His goal is to understand how the immune system is regulated by adrenaline receptors and to discover new avenues to treat autoimmune diseases such as multiples sclerosis.

His laboratory has federal operating grants and the graduate students have received travel awards, distinctions, and provincial scholarships. The laboratory is located in the School of Health's PERFORM Centre building at the Loyola Campus in the Montreal neighborhood of NDG.

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