Twenty-First Century Cures Act Passes Congress, to Be Signed into Law

A $6.3 billion bill that speeds up drug approvals, funds research in cancer and brain science, strengthens mental healthcare, and combats opioid abuse won approval in the Senate on December 7, and  now goes to President Barack Obama for his promised signature.

     The 21st Century Cures Act, passed the House of Representatives in an overwhelming victory 392 to 26 vote, and passed the Senate, 94 to 5.

    Many medical societies supported the bill, including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the American Gastroenterological Association, the American Heart Association, the Arthritis Foundation, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the trade group for drug makers.

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will receive the bulk of the money—$4.8 billion— for research that includes the Cancer Moonshot, the Precision Medicine Initiative, the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, and regenerative medicine.

    “The passage of the 21st Century Cures Act will accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of life-changing treatments and improve the day-to-day lives of people with multiple sclerosis,” said Cyndi Zagieboylo, President and CEO of the National MS Society.

     “I applaud  Congress for creating a pathway for promising innovation through the establishment of a data collection system for neurological diseases; providing new funding for the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration; protecting access to power complex rehabilitation technology wheelchair accessories and more. This groundbreaking legislation truly brings us one step closer to ending MS.”

Read the NMSS press release on the bill here -



     In February, CMSC/NARCOMS Fellow Katherine Fitzgerald, PhD, will present her research on NARCOMS data about the effect of specific diets on multiple sclerosis symptoms the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum meeting in Orlando, Florida.

    Fitzgerald will present a poster, “Prevalence and User Characteristics of Specific Diets in People with Multiple Sclerosis,” at the poster session at 7pm on Thursday, February 23.




NARCOMS Publications in 2016

      In addition to presenting NARCOMS research at meetings in Spain, Canada, and the US, NARCOMS researchers published 10 papers using the data provided by participants.

      The topics ranged from statistical models used for predicting disability, to insurance changes, to DMT use and progressive MS. All abstracts are freely available on the NARCOMS bibliography on the US National Library of Medicine website:


  • Bethoux and Marrie: A Cross-Sectional Study of the Impact of Spasticity on Daily Activities in Multiple Sclerosis (Lead Author: F Bethoux).
  • Cofield et al: Disability Progression After Switching from Natalizumab to Fingolimod or Interferon-Beta/Glatiramer Acetate  Therapies: A NARCOMS Analysis
  • Freeze et al: Understanding Lifestyle Decisions based on patient historical data: A Latent Growth Modeling Approach (not available online, textbook chapter).
  • Kinnett-Hopkins et al: Social Cognitive Correlates of Physical Activity in Black Individuals With Multiple Sclerosis
  • Liu et al: Relationship Between Symptom Change, Relapse Activity and Disability Progression in Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Meador et al: Symptomatic Management of Multiple Sclerosis-Associated Tremor Among Participants in the NARCOMS Registry (see “MS Reflections”, p10).
  • Salter et al: Examining the Joint Effect of Disability, Health Behaviors, and Comorbidity on Mortality in MS
  • Schwartz et al: Refining a Web-based goal assessment interview: item reduction based on reliability and predictive validity.
  • Sidovar et al: Mapping of Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale (MSWS-12) to five-dimension EuroQol (EQ-5D) health outcomes: an independent validation in a randomized control cohort.
  • Wang et al: Health  insurance affects the use of disease-modifying therapy in multiple sclerosis.(See NARCOMS Now, Fall 2016 “MS Reflections”)