This story originally ran on Aug. 26.
An A$1million ($828,000) research project has begun in Australia to search for the proteins responsible for multiple sclerosis.
Funding comes from the Australian Research Council's Linkage Projects funding scheme and MS Research Australia, the research arm of MS Australia, and lasts four years.
The institutions conducting the research are the University of Adelaide, which is serving as the lead institute; Monash University; the University of Queensland; and the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
The national research project is the first of its kind in Australia and one of the first of its kind in the world, according to a statement. About 2.5 million Australian have MS, which costs the country an estimated A$2 billion annually.
"This collaborative research project has the potential to find crucial answers about a debilitating disease that affects million of people worldwide," Mark Butler, Parliamentary Secretary of Health, said in a statement.
Shaun McColl, a professor in the School of Molecular & Biomedical Science at the University of Adelaide, will be lead investigator.
"If we can discover the proteins and their roles in the development of MS, we could go a long way toward finding potential treatments or cures for the condition," he said.