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Magd Fouad Zakaria
Name

Magd Fouad Zakaria

Country:

Egypt

How I'm involved in MS research:

I am the president of the Egyptian Multiple Sclerosis Society, the head of the Ain Shams University MS unit, a member of the editorial board of the journal MSARD (multiple sclerosis and related disorders ), a member of the MENACTRIMS assembly board, Egypt’s brain health champion, and a principal investigator in several phase III international trials.

What inspired you to get involved in MS research?

After graduating from medical school, my first neurological research was into MRI. It was a new tool at the time and I was inspired by how much it could improve the accuracy of diagnosis of MS in contrast to other available methods of investigation. However, what motivated me to contribute to MS research most of all was seeing one of my very close friends become disabled due to MS at a young age because, at that time, the treatment options were very limited. That is what motivated me to try to find solutions to prevent other young people with MS from becoming disabled.

What do you think has been the most exciting development in MS research?

I think the most exciting development is in the field of immunology (the immune system), particularly in terms of understanding the immunological background to MS. This has enabled us to develop new drugs that target the contributory factors, for example immune reconstruction therapies (e.g. Cladribine, Alemtuzumab) and B-cell therapies (e.g. Ocrelizumab), which offer MS patients a better chance of controlling MS activity and therefore improving quality of life.

As well as finding a cure for MS, what future developments do you hope to see in MS research?

I hope that MS research identifies the exact cause of the disease and, as a result, develops prophylactic measures to avoid its occurrence in the first place, instead of treating it with medication after its occurrence.

More information

I was a football player in the Egyptian league and I didn’t want to go to medical school. I wanted to go to engineering school, but my family persuaded me. During the first years of college, I was not interested, not involved. However, when I started studying special medicine – particularly neurology – during the final years, everything changed. Now, I’m a university Professor of Neurology.

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