Does early intensive treatment lead to better health outcomes in MS?

An image of brightly coloured medication pills

Lead researcher: Dr Nikos Evangelou

Based at: Nottingham University Hospital

Grant we awarded: £267,923

Co-funded by: US National MS Society (NMSS)

Status: Active

About the project

We’re supporting a trial to find out if early intensive treatment is the best way to control accumulation of disability in relapsing MS.

One group will start off with a milder treatment. For example, beta interferons which are very safe and control relapses effectively for many people. They will only move on to a more intensive treatment if the first one doesn't effectively control their MS.

The other group will start with a more intensive treatment (like ocrelizumab or natalizumab). These treatments are more likely to effectively control your MS, but come with the risk of more serious side effects.

Researchers will also simply observe a group of people with relapsing MS who have chosen a particular treatment and see what happens.

The team will monitor people for three years. They will see how effective the treatments are by measuring brain shrinkage on MRI scans. This is a good indicator of long-term disability.

The trial will involve 800 people in the UK and USA who were recently diagnosed with relapsing MS and haven’t yet taken any MS treatments.

How will it help people with MS

For many people with MS, long-term disability has the biggest impact on their lives. And finding out whether early intensive treatment can affect how MS progresses in the long term is one of our top 10 research priorities. This trial will help people with MS make the right treatment decision for them.

The difference you can make

We want everyone with MS to have access to the treatments they need to live well with MS. You can help us understand more about different treatments by supporting research like this.

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