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.

Relapsing MS

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.

 

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 September 2017.

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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Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy self-help for carers of people with MS

University of Nottingham

What’s this study about?

Family and friends often help to provide care for people with MS, and some people can experience difficulties as a result of these responsibilities. Right now help is only available through generic NHS services, or by information booklets produced by charities like the MS Society and the MS Trust.

We would like to assess the potential benefits of a self-help book for carers. The book uses an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a psychological approach that could help people to manage any difficulties carers might be experiencing, and improve their quality of life.

The book aims to help people learn techniques to cope more effectively with thoughts and feelings, and work towards living a life more in line with their values.

How will this help people living with MS?

MS affects both the person diagnosed with the condition and those who support and care for them - their friends, family, and companions.

Our research aims to test ways of helping those who care for people with MS. We hope to help people with MS by finding ways to help those who support them.

What will participants be asked to do?

You will be asked to complete some questionnaires, which will be used to determine if you are eligible for the study. These can be completed either online or via post.

Participants will then be randomly allocated to one of three groups: usual care, self-help book, or self-help book plus weekly telephone support. Chapters from the self-help book will be sent to participants each week for eight weeks. Those who also receive telephone support will also have a weekly telephone call with the researcher.

All participants will be asked to complete the questionnaires again three and six months after the study begins. Participants will also have the option of completing a feedback interview, which can be done via telephone or Skype.

Who can take part?

Primary carers of people with MS

Who is conducting the research?

The research is being conducted by Kristy-Jane Martin (Trainee Clinical Psychologist) as part of a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. The study is supervised by Prof. Roshan das Nair, Dr Nima Moghaddam and Dr Nikos Evangelou

When can I take part in this study?

Until September 2017.

Where is this research taking place?

The study will take either online, by post or via telephone.

Who has reviewed this study?

This study has been reviewed by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee (approval reference G14112016)

Interested?

If you would like to find out more about this study and would like to receive a participant information sheet, please contact Kristy-Jane Martin at kristy.martin@nottingham.ac.uk. 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.

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 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 survey is available here.

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 August 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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Determining the reasons for anxiety for people living with MS

Swansea University

What’s this study about?

Anxiety and MS

How will this help people affected by MS?

This study will allow us to understand the reasons for anxiety among people living with MS. This could help us to better support people with MS who are experiencing anxiety.

What will participants be asked to do?

There are two ways to get involved:

  1. You can take part in telephone interviews. Telephone interviews will be set at a time convenient for you.
  2. You can complete a short survey. This can returned by post or by email.

Who can take part?

Anyone over the age of 18 who has a confirmed diagnosis of MS can take part.

Who is conducting the research?

Catrin Lyddon under the supervision of Professor Kerina Jones

When can I take part in this study?

November 2016 - January 2017

Where is this research taking place?

Swansea University. As the survey and telephone interviews can be done remotely, there is no requirement for participants to come to the university.

Who has reviewed this study?

The study has been reviewed and approved by the Swansea University College of Health and Human Sciences Ethical Committee.

The main study and amendments to include telephone interviews and a survey all have 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 Kerina Jones at k.h.jones@swansea.ac.uk. 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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Personal experiences of progressive multiple sclerosis

City University

What’s this study about?

Progressive MS can have a considerable impact on the lives of those affected by it. However, research on progressive forms of MS is limited, despite the fact that progressive MS poses a number of challenges for those affected. As a result, we know very little about how people manage the impact of progressive MS on their lives. We don’t know how they feel about themselves, or how these might change as the illness progresses. We will be exploring these issues by asking people with progressive MS about their experiences and how they adjust to it.

How will this help people affected by MS?

Certain psychological factors, like stress and social support, have been identified as affecting how people adapt to their MS. If we can understand more about the process of psychological adjustment in progressive MS, we can use this information to develop therapeutic interventions to support people and improve their wellbeing.

What will participants be asked to do?

The aim of the study is to find out how people feel about their MS, how it affects their life, how they cope with it, and how psychological factors contribute. Participants will address these issues through a questionnaire, which takes about an hour to complete.

As we are interested in how people manage the impact of MS on their lives over time, participants will be asked to complete the questionnaire again, 12 months later (two questionnaire assessments in total).

Participants will receive £10 for each questionnaire assessment to compensate for their time (£20 in total).

Who can take part?

Anyone with a confirmed diagnosis of primary progressive MS or a transition to secondary progressive MS within the last 12 months is eligible to take part in this study.

Who is conducting the research?

The research is conducted by Dr Fern Day, Dr Angeliki Bogosian, Dr Sam Norton, and Professor Rona Moss-Morris at City University and King’s College London and it is funded by the MS Society.

When can I take part in this study?

Between December 2015 and May 2017.

Where is this research taking place?

You can complete the questionnaires independently or with the support of a researcher.

If you want to complete the questionnaires by yourself, you will be provided with either paper questionnaires to complete at home and stamped addressed envelopes to return them in, or online versions.

If you would like to complete the questionnaires with a researcher, they will contact you to arrange a convenient time to meet at City University.

Who has reviewed this study?

The City University Psychology Department Research Ethics Committee has reviewed this study.

Interested?

If you would like to find out more about this study and would like to receive a participant information sheet, please contact Fern at fern.day@city.ac.uk or on 07590210419.

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

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Understanding self-management in MS

University College London

What’s this study about?

The study aims to explore the ways people living with MS manage their health in everyday life and how we could support self-management with valuable technologies. We would like to invite participants to an interview study exploring the following questions:

  • In what ways do people use different tools to manage their health (e.g. paper diaries, spreadsheet software, websites, mobile apps, fitness tracking devices, etc.)?
  • What do people track (e.g. physical activity, mood, diet, pain, fatigue, etc.)?
  • What kind of challenges do people face and what do they learn?  

How will this help people affected by MS?

This research will increase our knowledge of how people living with MS could be better supported by new technologies. What we learn will be shared with people affected by MS, healthcare professionals and technology manufacturers, who can use our research to improve the management of MS.

What will participants be asked to do?

Participants will be asked to take part in an interview answering questions on various topics, including how they manage their individual symptoms and whether they use any technologies to track their health. The interview should take about one hour. As a thank you for taking part, participants will receive a £20 Amazon voucher.

Who can take part?

Anyone over the age of 18 with a confirmed diagnosis of MS. We are interested to speak to people that may have used paper notebooks or technologies such as smart phone applications, to track their health conditions, although this is not essential.

Who is conducting the research?

Amid Ayobi, a PhD student from University College London is conducting the study. Amid will be supervised by Paul Marshall, a Senior Lecturer in interaction design and Anna Cox, a Reader in human-computer interaction, both members of the University College London Interaction Centre.

When can I take part in this study?

February 2016 - 31 July 2017

Where is this research taking place?

The interview can either be carried out at the University College London Interaction Centre, or in a public space close to your home, such as a quiet café. Alternatively, we can conduct the interview via phone or Skype.

Who has reviewed this study?

This research study has been reviewed and approved by the UCL 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 Amid at amid.ayobi.14@ucl.ac.uk.

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 - June 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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