News

February 13, 2024

Evolution of the McDonald Criteria 

ACTRIMS and its community continue to drive exciting and important changes in the way and the speed at which we diagnose multiple sclerosis, including leading the charge in Differential Diagnosis and collaborating on updates to the McDonald Criteria. You will hear much more about both efforts and outcomes in the coming months. We are happy to share this update from ECTRIMS on the McDonald Criteria next steps.

Listen to The ECTRIMS Podcast Episode 26: Efforts Towards a Better MS Diagnostic Criteria here.


 January 31, 2024

National MS Society Awards Dr. Sergio Baranzini the Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society announced Sergio E. Baranzini, PhD, a geneticist, neuroimmunologist, and data scientist at the University of California, San Francisco, is the winner of this year's Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research

Read the full press release here.


 October 18, 2023

Message from ACTRIMS President

ACTRIMS President Mark Freedman extends a special invitation for the ACTRIMS Forum 2024 to constituents who were unable to travel to MSMilan2023 due to the Israel-Hamas War. 

See full video message here.


 September 15, 2023

USA Neurologist Wins Inaugural Rachel Horne Prize for Women's Research in MS

Rhonda Voskuhl, MD, neurologist, research-scientist and clinician at the University of California (UCLA) is the first winner of the Rachel Horne Prize for Women’s Research in MS for her work looking at sexual differences in susceptibility and progression in multiple sclerosis (MS) and identifying potential therapies to improve outcomes.

Dr. Voskuhl is Professor of Neurology at UCLA, holds the Jack H Skirball Chair for Multiple Sclerosis Research, and is Director of the UCLA Multiple Sclerosis Programme.  She describes her research as a “Bedside to Bench to Bedside” approach – taking observations made in clinical settings to the laboratory to investigate relevant biological mechanisms and then designing clinical trials to benefit patients.

Read the full press release here.


August 4, 2023

WHO Recognises the Public Health Need for Effective and Affordable Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis

Today the World Health Organization (WHO) added three disease modifying-therapies (DMTs) for multiple sclerosis (MS) onto its Essential Medicines List for the first time.

With this landmark decision, the WHO acknowledges the critical importance of making MS treatments available in all health systems at all times. It is a significant moment in the history of MS, marking a crucial step towards improving access to MS treatments for people living with MS, particularly those in low- and middle-income countries or low-resource settings, who face significant barriers to accessing MS treatments.

The three treatments added onto the WHO Essential Medicines List are rituximab, cladribine and glatiramer acetate. MSIF and its members stress that the three medicines listed provide a baseline of care but are not the only ones that are effective and important for the treatment of MS. As this is the first time that MS treatments are included, a new section has been created on the list underlining the importance of treating MS.

Although these treatments represent a highly prioritised selection of the DMTs that are currently used to treat MS, this decision lays the foundations for better access to all DMTs around the world.

See MSIF's full press release here.


August 3, 2023

Breaking Barriers in MS will be the focus at the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum 2024

The Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis’ (ACTRIMS) annual Forum will take place Feb. 29 - March 2, 2024, in West Palm Beach, Florida at the Palm Beach County Convention Center and the Hilton West Palm Beach.

The ACTRIMS Forum 2024 will provide an excellent opportunity to interact with scientists and clinicians at the cutting edge of MS research. This year’s theme is “Breaking Barriers in MS.” The scientific program will include discussion of barriers such as healthcare disparities and access to care, CNS borders and associated cells, impediments to neural repair, rehabilitation roadblocks, and clinical trial design considerations.

This CE-accredited meeting stands apart from many traditional medical meetings by offering a singular track of scientific and clinical presentations in a dynamic environment with over 400 posters sharing investigative results.

See full press release here.


July 19, 2023

Is it MS or Something Else? Updated Guide is Published to Expedite and Uncover the Answer

An international consortium led by the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) has published an updated comprehensive guide to differentiate multiple sclerosis (MS) from potential mimics. This guide, developed by experts in the field and published in The Lancet Neurology journal, aims to support the diagnostic process, allowing for faster and more accurate identification of MS.

Diagnosing MS can be challenging due to the existence of other disorders that exhibit clinical, laboratory, or imaging findings similar to those of MS. To ensure an accurate diagnosis, it is important for clinicians to consider these alternative explanations before confirming MS. The MS Differential Diagnosis Consortium, initiated by ACTRIMS, mobilized experts from around the world to address this issue and update guidance surrounding the diagnostic process. 

As part of this effort, the consortium reviewed 476 relevant studies published after 2008 and developed comprehensive recommendations, which were published online in Lancet Neurology on July 19, 2023. The paper also addresses the consideration of geography, age, race, ethnicity, and genetic ancestry in the process of differential diagnosis for MS.

Citation for the paper

Andrew J Solomon,a Georgina Arrambide, Wallace J Brownlee, Eoin P Flanagan, Maria Pia Amato, Lilyana Amezcua, Brenda L Banwell, Frederik Barkhof, John R Corboy, Jorge Correale, Kazuo Fujihara, Jennifer Graves, Mary Pat Harnegie, Bernhard Hemmer, Jeannette Lechner-Scott, Ruth Ann Marrie, Scott D Newsome, Maria A Rocca, Walter Royal III, Emmanuelle L Waubant, Bassem Yamout, and Jeffrey A Cohen. Differential diagnosis of suspected multiple sclerosis: an updated consensus approach.

a Corresponding author: Andrew Solomon,  [email protected]

The Lancet Neurology published online ahead of print July 19, 2023, DOI is 10.1016/ S1474-4422(23)00148-5. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422(23)00148-5/fulltext


March 2023

We believe everyone living with Multiple Sclerosis across the world should have equal and affordable access to disease-modifying therapies (DMTs).

Read more about MS International Federation MSIF and World Health Organization Collaborating Centre Bologna's application to add MS treatments to the World Health Organization's Essential Medicines List (EML) in Lancet Neurology.


November 18, 2022

The Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) congratulates the International Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials (IACCT) in MS on their creation of a proposed framework redefining how different types of multiple sclerosis are described. This new framework will be instrumental in being able to better understand and treat MS in the future.  

The paper by Tanja Kuhlmann, MD (University Hospital Münster, Germany) and collaborators was published today in Lancet Neurology on behalf of the IACCT. ACTRIMS supports the panel’s proposal to understand MS as a continuous disease process and agrees that having a biological understanding of what drives any individual’s disease course will lead to better, more personalized treatments.  

The International Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials in MS, a long-standing initiative jointly supported by ECTRIMS and the National MS Society (USA) and includes many current and former ACTRIMS board members. The Committee provides perspective and guidance in areas of interest to planning and implementation of clinical trials for new agents for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.


July 26, 2021

The Atlas of MS showed that off-label disease-modifying therapies are used in at least 89 countries. This highlights the need for structured and transparent evidence-based guidelines to support clinical decision-making, pharmaceutical policies and reimbursement decisions. The authors put forward general principles for the ethical use of off-label DMTs for treating MS and a process to assess existing evidence and develop recommendations for their use in this manuscript.

The principles and process are endorsed by the World Federation of Neurology (WFN), American Academy of Neurology (AAN), European Academy of Neurology (EAN), Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS), European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), Middle-East North Africa Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (MENACTRIMS) and Pan-Asian Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (PACTRIMS).