A University of Manitoba-led national team of researchers has been awarded $1,499,773 in new funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Rx&D Health Research Foundation (HRF) to study the impact of comorbidity (co-existing health conditions) on people with MS.
The team is being led by Ruth Ann Marrie (pictured), assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Internal Medicine and Community Health Sciences and clinician at Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre.
Funding for seven projects totalling over $9 million was awarded under the CIHR Team Grants in Co-morbidity of Brain Disorders and Other Health Problems. Six projects, including Marrie’s focus on co-existing health problems associated with mental illness, addiction, brain and nerve disorders, and sensory disorders, and one project on palliative care among First Nations.
“We expect our approach to ultimately allow for individualized disease management for those with MS and increase our understanding of the pathophysiology of MS,” said Marrie. “This funding will enable us to bring an expert team of researchers together to better understand the population of people with MS and factors that play a role in co-existing health conditions.”
Marrie’s project will create a multidisciplinary team with complementary research expertise. Their research program has three objectives: to develop methods for using health claims data to identify and monitor comorbidities among persons with MS and in the general population; to identify the type and frequency of comorbidities among those with MS compared to the general population (determining how this varies by age, gender, region and socioeconomic status); and then assessing the impact of these comorbidities on MS in terms of quality of life and how they influence health and disease-specific treatments for MS, and how they influence treatment decisions and access.
Findings will be disseminated via a partnership with decision makers and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.
“The research team led by Dr. Marrie and her colleagues nationally will provide insight into the health of those with MS and will have impact on the lives of thousands of Canadians who suffer with MS,” said Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research) at the University of Manitoba.
“Our Foundation helps bring together talented researchers from both the public and private sectors with the ultimate of making Canada a leader in research and development.” said Yves Morin, Chair of the Rx&D Health Research Foundation. “Our partnership with CIHR over the past 15 years has provided a concrete example of how all sectors including universities and research institutions can work together for the public good.”
The research team is made up of collaborators from six institutions at five study sites in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Nova Scotia and includes: Dr. John Fisk, Co-PI (Dalhousie University); Dr. Helen Tremlett, Co-PI, (University of British Columbia); Dr. Sharon Warren, Co-PI, (University of Alberta); Dr. Virender Bhan (Dalhousie University); Dr. James Blanchard, Canada Research Chair in Global Public Health (University of Manitoba); Dr. Patricia Caetano (University of Manitoba); Dr. Lawrence Elliott (University of Manitoba); Dr. Scott Patten (University of Calgary); Dr. Joanne Profetto-McGrath (University of Alberta); Dr. Christina Wolfson (McGill University); and Dr. Nancy Yu (University of Manitoba).
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research For the past 10 years, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has supported better health and health care for Canadians. As the Government of Canada’s health research investment agency, CIHR enables the creation of evidence-based knowledge and its transformation into improved treatments, prevention and diagnoses, new products and services, and a stronger, patient-oriented health-care system. Composed of 13 internationally recognized Institutes, CIHR supports more than 13,600 health researchers and trainees across Canada. www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca About the Rx&D Health Research Foundation The Rx&D Health Research Foundation (HRF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support health research in Canadian academic health centres and to promote the value of health research in Canada. Founded in 1964 by Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), the HRF applies the highest standards of scientific excellence to address health challenges of great importance to Canadian society.
To arrange an interview with Dr. Marrie regarding this new research funding, please contact Janine Harasymchuk, research communications & marketing manager, tel: 204-474-7300 or cell: 204-799-4802 (firstname.lastname@example.org)