Newswise — Understanding the boundaries between relapsing and progressive multiple sclerosis is essential to finding better therapeutic approaches and treatments for patients living with MS, according to Jerry S. Wolinsky, M.D., of the University of Texas in Houston. Wolinsky will deliver the first Kenneth P. Johnson Memorial Lecture at a forum hosted by Americas Committee for the Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS), Feb. 18, 2016, in New Orleans.

“Recognition of the different forms of multiple sclerosis dates back to the earliest descriptions of the disease,” said Wolinsky. “By distinguishing between relapsing and progressive MS – in particular, the transition from early relapsing to secondary progressive MS – we hope to better understand and manage the progressive phase disease.”

Because there is no clear boundary, several researchers have suggested that the only way to understand progression in MS is to attempt to disentangle the contributions of relapses by carefully studying clinical attack free patients with “pure” primary progressive MS.

In his address, Wolinsky will focus on registration quality trials that illuminate possible answers and continued challenges for understanding and management of progressive phase disease, placed in context with experimental and translational data derived from smaller cohorts.

The late Kenneth P. Johnson, M.D., University of Maryland, led the effort to found ACTRIMS in 1996. The Memorial Lecture honors Johnson by providing an opportunity for ACTRIMS audiences to hear from prestigious clinicians or researchers selected for their knowledge, accomplishments and contributions related to MS. Wolinsky directs the MRI Analysis Center Multiple Sclerosis Research Group at the UT Health Science Center of Houston.

The lecture will be delivered on the opening day of ACTRIMS Forum 2016, Progressive MS: From Bench to Bedside and Back, Feb. 18 – 20, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. The forum is the first, standalone event ACTRIMS has held for North American researchers and clinicians who work in the rapidly changing field of MS.

To learn more about ACTRIMS Forum 2016, visit the event website,, and follow the event at #ACTRIMS2016.

About ACTRIMSThe Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) provides leadership in the field of multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases. ACTRIMS® is a community of leaders dedicated to the treatment of and research in multiple sclerosis, dissemination of knowledge and education and collaboration among disciplines. Founded in 1995, it serves as the U.S. and Canadian counterpart to ECTRIMS, the European Committee on Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis.

Contact: Ann Nelson608.310.8960[email protected]

ACTRIMS22 N. Carroll St., Suite 300Madison, Wisconsin 53703 USAPhone: +1 608 310 8960Fax: + 1 608 251 4941