Are systematic infections linked to progression in MS?
Dr Ian Galea
University of Southampton
About the project
This project aims to determine whether systemic infections (such as colds, sinusitis and chest infections) can affect the accumulation of disability in people with MS. There is some evidence to suggest that infections can cause degeneration of nerve cells in animal models of MS. There is also some anecdotal evidence that infections are associated with a more rapid worsening of disability in people with MS. Researchers will monitor 50 people with MS for 2.5 years, recording the number of infections that people have and their response to each infection by collecting and analysing urine samples. They will also study the progression of MS using a series of clinical exams and questions, along with MRI at the start and end of the study.
How will it help people with MS?
There is currently little understanding of the underlying factors involved in the accumulation of disability in people with MS. This study aims to help further this understanding, by determining whether infections can cause disability in MS. If researchers can identify underlying factors, such as infections, they may be able to develop strategies to slow, or even prevent disability accumulation in people with MS.
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We need to fund research into understanding why disability gradually worsens in people with MS, so that researchers can find ways to stop it.
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