The mysteries of multiple sclerosis, an incurable and degenerative neurological disease, are not merely biological. So little is still understood about the disease that doctors struggle to predict how it will progress and, in turn, advise people on how it will affect their ability to work or engage in other social functioning. It’s not even certain how many people have the disease. With more than $700,000 in new funding from the National MS Society, Brown Professors Albert Lo, also a neurologist at the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Professor Stephen Buka, chair of epidemiology, have begun a study to establish a count of MS patients in Rhode Island and to gather basic medical data about them. From there, they hope to interview and follow patients to determine how MS affects them over the long term. "This is the first statewide project of its kind for MS in the US," says Lo.

Read more