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ACTRIMS 2024 Seeks to Explore and Break Barriers in MS

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The Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) will host its ninth annual meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida, from February 29 to March 2, 2024, to address a plethora of barriers faced by patients and clinicians managing multiple sclerosis (MS).

The Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum 2024 will be especially focused on breaking barriers in multiple sclerosis (MS). As part of their theme this year, many of the discussions and presentations will be concerned with health care disparities facing patients access to care, as well as obstacles physicians face in their treatment approaches. Furthermore, this year’s ACTRIMS has highlighted the great opportunity for young investigators to network and explore their own career paths in the field.

Breaking Barriers in MS ACTRIMS Forum 2024 | image credit: forum.actrims.org

Breaking Barriers in MS ACTRIMS Forum 2024 | image credit: forum.actrims.org

In addition to 400 poster presentations throughout the Forum, the first session will detail emerging concepts in novel disease-capturing measures, treatment advances, and emerging insights in the pathogenic mechanisms in MS. With the studies highlighted in this session, attendees will gain insight into synaptic injury in the retina as a predictor of MS progression, the relationship between gut health, remyelination and neuroinflammation, and more.

Furthermore, a satellite symposium promises to explore avenues for optimizing patient outcomes and early intervention strategies in MS. The remainder of opening day will feature a symposium covering gender parity in MS careers, a session on varying access to care across different populations, and a plethora of notable poster presentations about the integration of artificial intelligence into the diagnostic and treatment landscape of MS.

Many barrier- and disparity-oriented sessions will take place on Friday, March 1, 2024. An early session will include presentations from 4 researchers that explore the central nervous system (CNS) and related cells. Their research will span the role of ependymal cells and the choroid plexus in CNS inflammation, imaging of the choroid plexus, the blood brain barrier’s ability to disrupt neuroinflammatory disease, and a subsequent question and answer portion.

Another lunch-time satellite symposium will take place on Friday regarding neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD). Experts in this presentation will provide updates and explorations into the diagnosis and treatment of NMOSD. A symposium immediately following will include a notable presentation on the feasibility of wearable devices, and a later session will break down barriers in neurological repair including obstacles in remyelination, relevant trials, and 3D platforms to combat barriers in drug discovery in MS. Additionally, later poster sessions will explore the role of individual microbiomes, dietary habits, and prognostic factors in MS.

As ACTRIMS Forum 2024 comes to a close, these final sessions will survey late-breaking clinical and research trials on the impact of stem cell transplantation in serum biomarkers and cognition in progressive MS, brain penetrant therapeutics, and more.

Furthermore, later sessions will focus on barriers in clinical trails such as representation, trial design, participant collection and more. Some speakers will also grant attention to exploring portable imaging platforms and rehabilitation trails, the prospect of exercise as a form of therapeutic intervention, mechanisms that influence the potential for repair/rehabilitation, and unmet needs in clinical rehabilitation trials.

Additionally of interest on the final day, 3 presenters will detail differential diagnoses in late onset MS (LOMS) and pediatric onset MS (POMS), specifically concerning what can mimic LOMS or POMS as well as the future role of biomarkers and imaging in these diagnostic process.

With so many novel insights and innovations to explore, the Program Committee will also emphasized the National MS Society Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research Lecture, honoring Sergio E. Baranzini, PhD, of the University of California in San Francisco, as well as the Kenneth P. Johnson Memorial Lecture, which will be led by Anne H. Cross, MD, of Washington University to kick off ACTRIMS 2024.

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