Are systematic infections linked to progression in MS?

Image of a virus under the microscope. The virus is blue and red and there is a yellow background.

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.

The difference you can make

We need to fund research into understanding why disability gradually worsens in people with MS, so that researchers can find ways to stop it.

Make a donation to help stop MS

The next research breakthrough is in reach. Your donation will help stop MS.

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£10could buy vital lab supplies for MS researchers, helping them find ways to stop MS faster

£20could pay for lab equipment like petri dishes to grow bacteria important for studying the genetics of MS

£30could process one blood sample, giving us crucial information about genes that could lead to treatment breakthroughs

Every penny you give really does take us a step closer to stopping MS. Your donation will make a difference.

  • Please enter an amount

£10a month could pay for lab equipment like microscope slides to study the building blocks of MS

£20a month could pay for lab equipment like petri dishes to grow bacteria important for studying genetics

£30a month could process a blood sample to help us understand what causes MS, so we can stop it in its tracks

Your regular donation means we can keep funding world class MS research with confidence. Together we will stop MS.

Young girl in hospital ward talking to male nurse