Can we identify and manage cognitive changes better?

Photo of Professor Roshan das Nair from the University of Nottingham

Lead researcher: Professor Roshan das Nair

Based at: University of Nottingham

Grant we awarded: £74,247

We know up to 80% of people with MS experience cognitive changes. These can include problems with memory and thinking, attention or multitasking.

Cognitive problems can be difficult to identify until they become severe, and can have a huge impact on someone’s quality of life. Right now there isn’t a clear system for identifying and managing this symptom in the NHS.

We want to develop a cognitive screening pathway for people with MS. This would mean clinicians could routinely screen for cognitive changes, and help them to identify if someone could benefit from a more detailed assessment and/or cognitive rehabilitation.

What happens in the project?

Our researchers will first review what we already know about cognitive screening, in MS and in other conditions. They will use this knowledge to develop a new cognitive screening pathway in collaboration with people with MS and other stakeholders. They will then begin to test the potential benefits in a small trial.

The trial will help us to understand how we can fully test the benefits and cost effectiveness of this programme, which is vital if we are to make this a routine part of MS clinics.

How will it help people with MS?

Finding effective treatments that can improve cognition for people with MS is one of our top 10 research priorities. But in order to offer the right treatment and support for people experiencing cognitive problems, we need to have systems in place that can help clinicians to identify cognitive changes.

The difference you can make

We want everyone with MS to have access to the services and support they need to live well with MS. With your help, we can continue to support vital research like this.

The next research breakthrough is in reach

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£30could process one blood sample, giving researchers crucial information about genes and the immune system.

£50could pay for an hour on a microscope, so scientists can study cells and tissue in greater detail and improve their understanding of the biology of MS.

£100could pay for half an hour of MRI use, so researchers can monitor the success of clinical trials and understand MS in more detail.

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MS researcher at work in lab, using a pipette