In 2016, Kate, Sandy, and I teamed up in a series of events to raise awareness and funds to support the research of my neurologist, Dr. Philip L. De Jager. Through his Genes & Environment in MS Study (GEMS), Dr. De Jager is working to understand the genetics behind MS in hopes of identifying high-risk relatives of people with MS before they even show any clinical symptoms of the disease. Dr. De Jager and his team recently published a paper in JAMA Neurology that not only identified high-risk first-degree relatives of people with MS using an algorithm that they developed but also determined that higher-risk asymptomatic family members of patients with MS are more likely to have early subclinical manifestations of the disease. This exciting research is helping to identify people who are most susceptible to developing MS and will allow for earlier diagnosis and treatment. To read the full article, visit https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28114441. TeaM BryantS is thrilled that our efforts helped fund this exciting work.
TeaM BryantS is continuing to raise awareness and funds for Dr. De Jager’s important research. He is currently working on the next iteration of the GEMS study, which will target 10,000 family members of people with MS across several countries including the United States, England, Canada, and Sweden. As part of this project, Dr. De Jager and his colleagues will study a cohort of children because some of the key events in disease onset are likely happening in adolescence. This project is particularly meaningful to me because I was diagnosed as a teenager but believe I developed my first symptoms during my early adolescence. They are also interested in better understanding the effect of geography on MS risk as well as how a patient’s social network and social support influence disease outcomes.
We are excited about the continued progress that Dr. De Jager and his colleagues are making to better understand MS susceptibility and risk factors. We will continue to support his research and raise awareness until we have accomplished the goal of ending MS forever.
In October, we will be lacing up our sneakers to run a race together on Martha’s Vineyard to benefit Dr. De Jager’s laboratory, and we would love your support. Dr. De Jager has accepted a new position at Columbia University as a Professor of Neurology and Chief of the Division of Neuro-immunology. In this role, he now serves as the Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Care and Research Center, and, yes, this means that I now must venture into enemy territory (think Yankees and Giants) to receive my care!
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If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your generosity and continued support of a cause that means so much to the entire Bryant family.