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$725k+ Grant Award to Research Physical Activity Promotion in Adults with Multiple Sclerosis

SEATTLE—The National Multiple Sclerosis  Society (NMSS) awarded $725,000 to a collaborative effort between the UW Medicine’s Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Rehabilitation and Wellness Research Center in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and The Sports Institute in the Department of Neurological Surgery. This funding will support research to evaluate physical activity promotion in adults with MS using ExerciseRx, a digital health platform. ExerciseRx enables healthcare teams to prescribe and monitor customized and safe movement goals for their patients. Researchers will also assess outcomes including fatigue, pain, sleep, depression, physical functioning, falls, and social participation. 

The principal investigator of this research study is Dawn Ehde, PhD, who holds the Nancy and Buster Alvord Endowed Professorship in Multiple Sclerosis Research and co-directs the UW Medicine MS Rehabilitation and Wellness Research Center. 

“We are eager to deepen our partnership with NMSS and evaluate a new approach to rehabilitation for people with MS. Gaining a better understanding of how MS providers can support their patients in being physically active may ultimately reduce the impact of their MS and improve their well-being,” said Dr. Ehde. 

ExerciseRx was co-developed by The Sports Institute at UW Medicine, UW Computer Science and Engineering Ubicomp Lab, and UW Human Centered Design and Engineering. The project is led by Cindy Lin, MD, Associate Director of Clinical Innovation at The Sports Institute, and Clinical Associate Professor in Sports and Spine Medicine in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. Additional co-investigators include Kevin Alschuler, PhD, Tracy Herring, PhD, Andrew Humbert, PhD, and Sarah Simmons, MD, PhD. 

The National MS Society has invested more than $974 million in research since its founding and is committed to developing a better understanding of how wellness and lifestyle choices can improve MS symptoms. The National MS Society’s investment in UW Medicine reflects a shared commitment to enable those living with MS to live actively despite their diagnosis.