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Can cerebrospinal KIF levels predict MS progression?

image shows nerve cell fibres
Lead researcher:
Dr Alastair Wilkins
Based at:
University of Bristol
MS Society funding:

Reducing the uncertainty around MS progression is one of our top research priorities.

We know that worsening symptoms and MS progression is linked to the nerve damage, but right now this is difficult to measure.

What happens in the project?

Our researchers want to develop a new way of measuring nerve damage. They'll do this by measuring the levels of certain proteins called KIF in the fluid surrounding the spinal cord and brain. They will also try and identify genetic changes that increase the likelihood of nerve damage using blood samples.

If they are successful, we could use this information to predict how someone's MS could progress. This could help people to make more informed treatment choices.

How will it help people with MS?

Finding biomarkers and genetic differences that predict MS progression will allow people with MS have greater certainty over their lives. It can also help them make better informed choices when deciding to take more or less aggressive treatment.

The difference you can make

MS is unpredictable and can be hard to live with. Giving people greater certainty about how their condition will progress is one of our top seven organisational goals. But we can only do this with your support.