Be in a study

People living with MS are at the heart of all MS research.

There are lots of ways to get involved in research - from completing a questionnaire to being in a clinical trial of a new treatment.

This page contains information about some of the trials and studies that are currently recruiting in the UK. It is not a complete list of active trials. It shouldn't be interpreted as advice or recommendation for participation in any given study or trial.

If you have any questions or concerns about being in a study you should contact your doctor, MS nurse or neurologist.

Clinical trials

Clinical trials test whether new treatments, from drugs to physiotherapy, are safe and effective.

>>Find more MS clinical trials through the UK Clinical Trials Gateway

Symptom management 

Other research studies

These studies help to improve our understanding of MS and the impact it has on people’s lives. They may involve completing a questionnaire, taking part in discussion groups or being asked questions over the phone.

 

Healthcare Professionals’ Experiences of Communicating Prognosis Prediction with Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. A Qualitative Study

University of Southampton

What’s this study about?

This study looks to explore experiences and perspectives of healthcare professionals for communicating about prognosis to patients with MS.

How will this help people affected by MS?

This research will enhance current knowledge of factors involved in prognosis communication in MS and findings may contribute towards improvements in communication for both patients and healthcare professionals.

What will participants be asked to do?

Should you decide to take part, a telephone interview will take place at a time and date agreed upon by yourself and the researcher. The interview will last for as long as you feel willing/able to talk, however it is predicted to take between 45 minutes and an hour. With your consent, the interview will be recorded and transcribed.

In return for your participation, you will receive a £15 Amazon voucher. In addition, you will be sent a certificate stating that you have helped with this MS research project, which might be useful in your professional appraisal or revalidation. You might find that your participation helps you reflect on your practice, and we would be happy to provide a transcript of the conversation if you wish.

Who can take part?

Any Healthcare Professional (such as a neurologist, MS Specialist Nurse) that has had experience working with and caring for patients with MS.

Who is conducting the research?

Samantha Hornsey (MSc Health Psychology), supervised by Dr Laura Dennison and Dr Ian Galea.

When can I take part in this study?

March 2017-August 2017

Where is this research taking place?

Participation will only involve a telephone interview. Therefore, you can take part at a place, time and date that suits you.

Who has reviewed this study?

This study has been reviewed and approved by the University of Southampton ethics committee. ERGO ID: 25444.

Interested?

If you would like to find out more about this study and would like to receive a participant information sheet, please contact Samantha Hornsey at sh7g13@soton.ac.uk. Please note that enquiring about participation does not commit you in any way.

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How do changes in ambient temperatures affect sensory perception, motor function, and cognitive integration in MS?

Loughborough University

What’s this study about?

We know that heat and cold sensitivity are common symptoms in MS, but we still don’t fully understand the biology of how changing body temperature affects sensory function, sensorimotor function, and cognitive integration in MS.

Our study aims to understand more about the biology of heat and cold sensitivity. We need this information to develop treatments or interventions that can alleviate heat and cold sensitivity for people with MS, and improve their quality of life.
How will this help people affected by MS?

Our research could inform the development of therapeutic interventions for people with MS and to design assistive devices to make their life easier. It could also help to provide guidelines for how to design healthy work settings for people with MS.

What will participants be asked to do?

Participants will be asked to attend three sessions at Loughborough University. These will take place on three separate days, and each will last approximately two hours.

The only difference between the three sessions will be the change in air temperature. In one session the air temperature will progressively be increased (up to a maximum of 38°C), in another the air will be progressively cooled (down to a maximum of 10°C), and in the third the air temperature will be maintained neutral (24°C).

When you arrive you’ll be asked to fill in a number of questionnaires that will assess your health and cognitive function. You will also be asked to provide a urine sample.

At the start of the sessions you will be asked to learn a list of 10 words. Sensors will be placed on your skin to monitor temperature, and you will be asked to insert a rectal probe, which allows researchers to measure your core temperature.

You’ll then stay in a room kept to 24°C for half an hour. After this time we will ask you to complete a series of tasks:

  • Recall the list of words given at the start of the session
  • Grip, lift and move a device
  • Rate thermal stimuli that will be applied to your hand

After this the temperature will be maintained, increased or decreased gradually, depending on the session. You’ll be asked to repeat the three tasks at 10 minute intervals for a total of 50 minutes, after which you’ll be moved to a room kept at 24°C, where you can cool or warm up.

Who can take part?

We need both people with MS and healthy volunteers to take part in our trial.

  • For the MS group you will need:
  • A confirmed diagnosis of MS
  • To be 18-55 years old
  • An EDSS score of 1-5, this means that you must be able to walk without aid or rest for 200m
  • To have a blood pressure whilst lying down: < 140/90 mm Hg
  • To be capable of informed consent

You can’t take part if you:

  • Have had a relapse in the previous 3 months
  • Have other neurological diseases, mental illness, sensorimotor disorder, cardiovascular or metabolic disorders;
  • Are on medication with a direct effect on cognition and motor functions;
  • Are claustrophobic

In the control group we need age and gender-matched individuals. You can’t take part if you have a history of cardiovascular, neurological, metabolic disease or if you are currently taking any medications.

Who is conducting the research?

This study will be conducted by Aikaterini Christogianni, as part of her PhD research project, and under the supervision of Dr. Davide Filingeri.

When can I take part in this study?

From July 2017 to July 2018

Where is this research taking place?

The study will take place at the Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre (James France building), Loughborough University, Epinal Way, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK, LE11 3TU.

Who has reviewed this study?

The study has been reviewed and approved by the Ethics Approvals (human Participants) Sub-committee at Loughborough University

Interested?

If you would like to find out more about this study and would like to receive a participant information sheet, please contact Aikaterini Christogianni or Dr Davide Filingeri. Please note that enquiring about participation does not commit you in any way.

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The effect of gender identity on help seeking and social support in male carers of people with MS

University of Leicester

What’s this study about?

The aim of this study is to understand more about how gender identity can impact on levels of social and practical support male carers of people with MS experience, and their willingness to seek help.

How will this help people living with MS?

By identifying potential barriers that may prevent male carers from seeking support, we can improve the services and support that are available.

What will participants be asked to do?

You will be asked to complete a short online survey.

Who can take part?

Anyone over the age of 18 who is an informal carer of someone with MS can take part.

Who is conducting the research?

Damien Appleton is conducting the research under the supervision of Noelle Robertson (Director Clinical Psychology program, Leicester University).

When can I take part in this study?

From May 2017 to July 2018.

Where is this research taking place?

Online. The survey is available here.

Who has reviewed this study?

The University of Leicester research ethics committee.

Interested?

If you would like to find out more about this study and would like to receive a participant information sheet, please contact the researchers at msmalecarers@gmail.com.

Please note that enquiring about participation does not commit you in any way.

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Remote assessment of Disease and Relapse in Central Nervous System Disorders (RADAR-CNS)

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London

What’s this study about?

RADAR-CNS is a new international research project that aims to improve healthcare provision by collecting information through smartphones and wearable devices.

We’re exploring the use of this technology for three conditions: MS, epilepsy, and depression.

We would like your help in the early stages of this project to define what is important to people with MS.

How will this help people with MS?

Smartphones and other wearable technology provide an innovative opportunity to measure changes in conditions like MS.

This could help to identify symptoms and changes in health sooner.

What will participants be asked to do?

We’re asking people to complete an online survey about using technology to monitor MS symptoms and measure health.

The survey covers previous experience of using technology to monitor health, as well as potential future uses. As part of this, we would like to gather specific feedback on some designs for a smartphone app.

Who can take part?

Anyone who:

  • has a diagnosis of MS
  • is over 18
  • is able to give informed consent
  • and lives in the UK.

Who is conducting the research?

This study is being conducted by researchers in the psychology department of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience.

Dr Sara Simblett and Maximillian Kerz will be collating the responses from these surveys along with other researchers in the RADAR-CNS group, supervised by Professor Dame Til Wykes.

When can I take part in this study?

From April to September 2017

Where is this research taking place?

Online. The first survey is available here. If you would like to provide feedback on some smartphone app designs, please fill in this survey.

Who has reviewed this study?

This research has been reviewed and approved by London Westminster NHS Research Ethics Committee and the Health Research Authority.

Interested?

If you would like to find out more about this study and would like to receive a participation information sheet, please contact Dr Sara Simblett at sara.simblett@kcl.ac.uk or on 02078480762.

Please note that enquiring about participation does not commit you in any way.

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The immediate effect of spinal therapy in MS

Edinburgh Napier University

What’s this study about?

This study is testing the effects of manual therapy over the spine on MS and related symptoms.

This will help us to understand more about the benefits of movement rehabilitation for people with MS.

How will this help people affected by MS?

This research aims to improve our understanding of the benefits of physiotherapy for people with MS.

We cannot guarantee that the therapy will improve MS symptoms, but participants will be given the opportunity to try two different types of spinal manual therapy.

What will participants be asked to do?

Participants will be asked to attend 2 sessions at Edinburgh Napier University, Sighthill campus. We will provide taxis for both sessions if needed.

The two sessions will involve 30 minutes of therapy over the spine, this is gentle and low grade and involves manual touch from a physiotherapist.

Both sessions will also involve biomechanical testing before and after therapy. These will test for muscle quality, whole body stability and pain doing lumbar movements.

The tests will involve standing on one leg, and small movements with the lower back. This will also involve myometer measurements, which are non-invasive and will be done while participants are lying flat.

Each session should take around two hours, and participants can bring a friend or family member with them if they like.

Who can take part?

Anyone who:

  • is female
  • has a diagnosis of MS
  • is aged between 18-70
  • has an EDSS rating between two and six  
  • is able to stand on one leg.

You will not be able to participate if you are connected with Point One Physiotherapy Clinic or respond positively to contraindications for spinal therapy.

Who is conducting the research?

The research is being conducted by PhD researcher Rebecca Hamilton from Edinburgh Napier University. Rebecca is supervised by Dr Susan Brown and Dr Claire Garden.

When can I take part in this study?

The study is recruiting at the moment and testing will be taking place from now until the end of September 2017.

Where is this research taking place?

Edinburgh Napier University, Sighthill Campus, 9 Sighthill Court, EH11 4BN

Who has reviewed this study?

The study has been reviewed and approved by the Edinburgh Napier School of Applied Sciences Ethical Committee.

Interested?

If you would like to find out more about this study and would like to receive a participant information sheet, please contact Rebecca Hamilton at rebeccaisabel.hamilton@napier.ac.uk or 0131 4552350.

Please note that enquiring about participation does not commit you in any way.

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Assessing the factors and events that influence care requirements

University of Southampton

What’s this study about?

This study aims to identify and better understand the factors and events that determine care needs for people living with a long-term neurological condition, including MS.

How will this help people affected by MS?

Many long-term neurological conditions such as MS have a long-term impact on quality of life with care requirements that vary over time. This frequently creates a mismatch between the needs of patients at particular stages in their condition and the available resources required to assist them.

We want to use the results of this study to better understand the factors that influence care levels for people living with conditions such as MS. This may help us to develop new ways of assessing and monitoring important aspects related to MS. It may also help us to better support people with long-term neurological conditions in the future.

What will participants be asked to do?

The first part of the research is a survey that can be completed online, on paper or over the telephone. It should take less than 30 minutes to complete. The survey will ask about the things that you feel increase and decrease the amount of care you or a person with MS you care for needs.

The second stage of the research is a focus group. At the end of the survey you will be asked if you would be interested in taking part in the focus group. You can decide to only take part in the survey, without going on to participate in the focus group.

Who can take part?

Anyone who:

  • lives in Hampshire or Dorset
  • has a diagnosis of MS
  • or cares for someone with a diagnosis of MS.

Who is conducting the research?

This study is being conducted by a research team based at University Hospital Southampton. It is led by Sarah Fearn, a Senior Research Fellow. The chief investigator is Dr Chris Kipps, a consultant neurologist.

When can I take part in this study?

From November 2016 to 30 September 2017.

Where is this research taking place?

The research is based in Southampton but covers all of Hampshire and Dorset.

Who has reviewed this study?

The University of Southampton Research Governance Office has reviewed the study and granted it ethical approval.

Interested?

If you would like to find out more about this study and would like to receive a participant information sheet, please contact Sarah Fearn at S.Fearn@soton.ac.uk or call 07393762105.

Please note that enquiring about participation does not commit you in any way.

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Can a flavonoid-rich cocoa drink improve fatigue?

Oxford Brookes University

What’s this study about?

A healthy diet may be a simple, cost effective and safe therapy for improving symptoms experienced in people with MS (pwMS), and thus for increasing quality of life. There is currently no cure for fatigue yet it is one of the most debilitating of symptoms associated with MS

Pure cocoa may have the ability to improve fatigue due to compounds in the cocoa called flavonoids. However to date, no well-designed studies have looked at the role of cocoa consumption for fatigue management in pwMS.

This study will collect data comparing the effect of a high flavonoid pure cocoa drink to a low flavonoid cocoa drink on fatigue and blood levels of inflammatory markers in pwMS.

How will this help people affected by MS?

There may, or may not be, direct benefits to anyone taking part in this study. The study is being undertaken to find out whether certain dietary interventions are beneficial to pwMS.  

By taking part, you will be helping us to answer this question, which may be of benefit to pwMS in the future.

What will participants be asked to do?

Participants will be asked to attend three research visits over a 6 week period at Oxford Brookes, where we will measure fatigue levels, take some blood samples and ask a series of questions about daily activities.

Each visit will last no more than one and half hours and they will take place before 10 am. For each visit, participants will need to fast overnight (approximately 10-12 hours) – this means no food or drink, although participants are allowed to drink water in moderation before each of the three test days.  

At each visit participants will be asked to:

  • recall their diet from the previous day, performed by a trained nutritionist
  • walk for six minutes whilst being timed on a stopwatch to look at mobility (first and third visit only). During this we would place a small device on your back that measures how you walk
  • complete a few short questionnaires about health and well-being
  • have blood samples taken

After the first research visit, participants will be randomly allocated to one of two dietary interventions that can be managed at home, over a six week period. One group will consume a low flavonoid hot cocoa drink daily (in the morning) for six weeks. The other group will follow the same procedure but they will consume a high flavonoid pure cocoa drink daily.

During the six weeks, participants will be asked to wear a wrist watch for no more than three out of the six weeks, in order to gather information about daily activity. Participants will receive a text message three times a day asking about their level of fatigue via a mobile phone.  If you do not have a mobile phone, one will be provided.

Who can take part?

Anyone who:

  • is over the age of 18.
  • has been diagonsed with relapsing MS in the last 10 years.
  • is not yet taking medication for their MS (e.g. glatiramer acetate, interferon beta, teriflunomide and dimethyl fumarate)
  • is able to walk for at least 16 metres with a walker.

Participants must not have experienced a relapse or sudden change in MS symptoms in the previous three months.

Participants must have no other conditions that may be associated with fatigue (e.g. anaemia), and cannot be on medication for the treatment of depression. Participants must not have any other condition affecting the central nervous system other than MS (however certain conditions such as migraines would not exclude you from the trial), and must not be pregnant or lactating.

The researchers on the trial may need to contact your GP and/ or neurologist during the study, and you must consent to this before entering the trial.

Who is conducting the research?

Prof Helen Dawes, Dr Shelly Coe and other researchers at Oxford Brookes University

When can I take part in this study?

June 2016 - July 2017

Where is this research taking place?

During the study, there will be a total of 3 assessment visits; the first and last visit will take place at Oxford Brookes. For the second visit you will have the option for the researchers to come to your home in order to take measures.

The researchers will also call you on the telephone and/ or send you emails/ text messages in order to remind you to assess your fatigue and to see generally how you are doing during the trial.

Who has reviewed this study?

This study has been reviewed and approved by the Proportionate Review Sub-Committee, IRAS ID 199515

Interested?

If you would like to find out more about this study and would like to receive a participant information sheet, please contact Dr Shelly Coe at scoe@brookes.ac.uk Please note that enquiring about participation does not commit you in any way.

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