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A new way to use MRI to more accurately diagnose MS

MRI scans of a brain
Lead researcher:
Professor Frederik Barkhof
Based at:
University College London
MS Society funding:

About the project

MS is a complex condition, with many different symptoms, and so can be difficult to diagnose. The development of MRI scanning has greatly improved the speed and accuracy of diagnosis. But some people are still wrongly diagnosed.

One reason for this is because brain damage caused by MS can look very similar on an MRI scan to damage caused by other conditions. Professor Barkhof and his team have identified a feature of MRI scans that could help them distinguish these different types of damage. Areas of damage caused by other conditions tend to form around enlarged spaces that surround blood vessels, unlike MS lesions.

Being able to identify these areas of damage will make it easier to identify whether damage has been caused by MS or not.

How will it help people with MS?

Being able to distinguish between types of damage will help neurologists to rule out other conditions and provide a more accurate way to diagnose people with MS. Early diagnosis allows people with MS to be treated earlier, which leads to better health outcomes.

The difference you can make

Innovative techniques are crucial to developing our understanding of MS. Your support for this project would make sure people are diagnosed with MS accurately and early.