This is good news, as despite the Covid crisis we certainly don’t want other diseases such as multiple sclerosis to be forgotten or other forms of care to be neglected. The Belgian Charcot Foundation takes a proactive stance, and, as in previous years and with the help of its donors, is doing its utmost to support cutting-edge research on this as yet incurable disease.
The Charcot Fund was created to encourage basic research on MS. This first stage in the search for treatments is vital to improving our understanding of the disease and developing techniques that enable treatments to be found or improved. If it has been possible to develop a Covid-19 vaccine in so short a time, we owe it not only to urgency and a massive worldwide endeavour, but most of all to the knowledge uncovered by basic research over the past years. Basic research, therefore, is what drives innovation.
In 2021, ten Belgian University teams will be financed by the Belgian Charcot Foundation for first-class, innovative and solid projects.
The subjects covered by this research include:
- The interactions between the immune and nervous-system cells, including those in the brain’s blood vessels,
- The impact of some MS treatments on the immune system,
- The impact of gut microbes (microbiome) on susceptibility to the disease,
- The use of immune cells to repair demyelination lesions,
- The biochemistry of the fats released by myelin destruction,
- The use of an extra-powerful MRI machine to improve analysis of the micro-damage caused by the disease to nerve cells (neurons).