Jacque Montgomery
University Communications
August 12, 2009

The answers to the mysteries of multiple sclerosis (MS) may one day be found in an area where research has yet to explore. Blood. Today, the Rocky Mountain MS Center located at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus became home to a new program that will collect blood samples of people with MS and their families. The blood bank will be the ninth repository for the Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis which is building the largest openly accessible, multi-disciplinary repository every assembled for us in MS research.

The Accelerated Cure Project is able to fund repositories like the one at the Rocky Mountain MS Center through generation donations from private donors like the Tyler Hamilton Foundation.  Hamilton is a world class cyclist who, when looking for ways to give back to his community, dedicated his philanthropy work to a close friend whose mother suffered from MS.  The Tyler Hamilton Foundation is dedicated to promoting health and personal empowerment through cycling, and supporting efforts to discover the causes of MS. This includes MS Global, an annual multi-day charitable bicycle event.  MS Global 2008/Colorado raised funds directly for the Accelerated Cure Project and the new repository on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

“The Accelerated Cure Repository will serve as a complement to the ongoing research efforts at the Rocky Mountain MS Center,” said Timothy Vollmer, MD, co-director of the Rocky Mountain MS Center and professor of neurology at the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Medicine. “This database is different in that, while also taking blood samples, it also is collecting demographics on people and their families so that that type of information can be tapped to help us better detail the research effort that may prove hopeful in finding a cause or cure to MS.”

Multiple Sclerosis is a progressive and debilitating disease of the central nervous system that disrupts how the brain communicates with other parts of the body. The severity of the disease varies from person to person. The cause remains unknown and currently, there is no cure. The role genetics play is unclear. MS is the leading cause of disability in young women and the second leading cause of disability in young men. In Colorado, it’s believed one in 580 people has MS.

The Rocky Mountain MS Center at the Anschutz Medical Campus is a collaboration with the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Medicine, the University of Colorado Hospital and The Rocky Mountain MS Center. The Center brings together experience and work in patient care, education, support and cutting-edge research.