Does cell ageing cause progression in MS

Test tube

Project lead: Dr Richard Nicholas

Based at: Imperial College London

Grant we awarded: £40,000

Progression in MS is strongly associated with age. This innovative project will test the idea that cell ageing is responsible for progression of disability.

As we get older, all our individual cells age too. Damage to a cell’s DNA builds up over time, and this can stop the cell dividing - a process called senescence. We know DNA damage is accelerated by inflammation, and that senescent cells themselves can contribute to this damage.

What happens in this project?

Our researchers have shown that there is a build-up of senescent cells in lesions in mice with an MS-like condition. In this study, they want to understand if this increase in senescent cells is responsible for the build-up of disability seen in progressive MS.

How will it help people with MS?

Slowing, stopping or even reversing disability progression is our number one priority.

If we can identify a new process that explains progression then we can start developing treatments to target it. It could also be used to develop tests that help predict when someone’s MS will become progressive.

The difference you can make

There are currently no treatments available to help repair damage caused by MS. We need to support innovative projects like these if treatments are to become a reality.

The next research breakthrough is in reach

Your donation will help stop MS.

  • Please enter an amount

    Our minimum donation is £2, please enter a different amount.

£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.

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

  • Please enter an amount

    Our minimum donation is £2, please enter a different 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.

MS researcher at work in lab, using a pipette