AISM (Italian Multiple Sclerosis Society) and FISM (Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation)
AISM (Italian Multiple Sclerosis Society) is the national charity in Italy on Multiple Sclerosis (MS) whose vision is a world free from MS. It was founded in 1968 by a group of people with MS and their families, neurologists, social workers and volunteers.
Honorary President for AISM and FISM is the 1986 Nobel Prize for Medicine Rita Levi Montalcini.
AISM mission is to act globally to promote, drive and finance scientific research on MS; to promote and provide national and local services for people with MS; to represent and defend rights of people with MS.
AISM, through its Foundation, FISM (Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation), is the leading funding agency of research in MS field (70%) in Italy to better understand the causes of the illness, to improve the quality of life of people with MS, to provide better treatment towards a definitive cure for a MS. The research portfolio includes intramural research (performed in rehabilitation and public health) and extramural research (performed in neurobiology, genetic, neuroimmunology, neuroimaging, biomarkers, experimental models and new therapies) through an annual call for proposals conducted by to universities, public and not-for-profit research institutes in Italy and Italian top researchers. In the last 20 years AISM and FISM have been investing 27 million Euro in research on MS: in 2009 4 millions Euro were assigned to 36 research projects, 8 fellowship grants and 4 special strategic projects (e.g. stem cells, Epstein-Barr Virus- EBV- on MS, genetic analysis on MS and environmental factors in MS). Moreover AISM-FISM enable technologies to support MS research (e.g. MRI and tissue bank).
On a national level, AISM lobbying activity towards institutions and government include active membership in Italian Federation of Disability Societies.
On an international level, AISM is active member of Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) and of European MS platform and maintain long term partnership with ECTRIMS (European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis) and RIMS (Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis).
AISM invest also in information and communication and in training for healthcare and social professionals. AISM network in Regions and Municipalities include 150 branches, 9 rehabilation and daycare centres, 1 holiday centre. In the activities are involved more then 300 employees, 10.000 volunteers and more then 200.000 donors support research and services.