But that's not stopping research into emerging therapies for the disease, including stem cell transplantation.
While still in trial phase, researchers hope that transplanting mesenchymal stem cells, which are taken from a specific part of the bone marrow, may offer ways to keep white blood cells from attacking tissues in the central nervous system, and restore tissue already damaged in the brain and spinal cord.
Some experts said at best, the next renaissance -- this time one of understanding the condition's progressive forms and subsequent therapies – may be another generation out.
But for an area of research that once underwent a dry spell, the experts said, the coming decade offers a new and unpredictable spring.
"It's so gratifying now that we have so many options," said Miller. "And to know that as the years go on, we're seeing drugs that are not only easier to take – oral drugs rather than injectable drugs – but that have a higher degree of effectiveness."