Train the Brain Challenge Grant

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Support needed now to take MS research to next level

Together we have a critical opportunity right now before the end of the year to advance promising research—research with the potential to greatly help people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and balance issues.

Approximately 2.5 million people in the United States are affected by MS today.

The Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation (MMI) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha is ready to take an exciting new research program to the next level, but needs our support to do this.

The university is testing a radical new device not yet available to the public and not yet approved by the federal government. Preliminary tests have been extremely positive, so it’s important to keep the research moving forward so it’s made available just as soon as possible.

The device—called a PoNS—is placed on the tongue, where thousands of nerve endings are stimulated to send messages to healthy areas of the brain. This creates a “rewiring” around damaged nerve sites and significantly restores balance and muscular strength when accompanied by physical therapy.

Preliminary data from the University of Wisconsin shows this device has immense potential for individuals with MS, as well as those with a wide range of neurological disorders affecting balance and mobility (e.g. stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury, and more).

Collaboration between the University of Wisconsin and the University of Nebraska is directed at initiating a parallel study with individuals in Nebraska and nearby states who have MS. The university’s had successful experience using a device similar to PoNS to study balance challenges seen in children.

Here’s where each of us can help through the Train the Brain Challenge Grant.

The university has been offered a $25,000 challenge grant if it can first raise $25,000 before December 31, 2011. When completed, a total of $50,000 will allow MMI scientists to take the next step in critical research involving an innovative brain-based device for neurorehabilitation.

This represents a critical step in moving the device out of the lab and into the hands of those who need them.

Positive results from this translational study are critical before applying for funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to expand research and conduct a large-scale clinical trial with the device.

Gifts of all sizes will help UNMC meet Train the Brain Challenge Grant. Gifts to the Train the Brain Fund must be received by December 31, 2011.

This is a direct and personal way you can be involved in advancing current research that holds so much promise for MS patients and others. Please give any amount you are able to provide.

Please make a gift now.

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