June 13, 2016 11:43 am
Updated: June 13, 2016 11:46 am

Large donation helps fund multiple sclerosis research in Manitoba

The University of Manitoba named its newest research chair, Ruth Ann Marrie, as The Waugh Family Chair in multiple sclerosis Monday.

Josh Arason/Global News
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WINNIPEG — Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the world, according to according to a 2013 study by the International Multiple Sclerosis Federation.

On Monday, it was announced a new University of Manitoba research chair is being funded to help patients affected by the disease.

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The Waugh Family Foundation is donating $2-million to fund Ruth Ann Marrie to lead research on MS.

Dr. Marrie is the director of the MS clinic at Health Sciences Centre and a professor in the faculty of medicine.

“The research undertaken by Dr. Marrie and her team will move the knowledge about multiple sclerosis forward and have an impact on the thousands of Canadians currently living with this disease every day,” Digvir Jayas, vice-president at the University of Manitoba said.

MS is thought to be an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation in the central nervous system, resulting in injury to myelin, the protective sheath that covers nerves. This damage can create a host of symptoms, leading to varying degrees of physical disability and cognitive impairment.

An estimated 100,000 Canadians have MS, and Canada is believed to have the highest per capita rate of the disease in the world, according to the MS Society.

The Province of Manitoba also announced $1.1 million of funding to support MS research at the University of Manitoba.

“By coming together, we can invest in the future of research and help make a difference for so many Manitobans and their families,” Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen said.

“I know the provincial funding of $1.1 million dollars will help the new chair guide research that will lead to better understanding of the causes of multiple sclerosis and improving health for those directly affected by the disease.”

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