How do slowly evolving lesions relate to MS progression?

Image of an MRI scan of the brain

Lead researcher: Professor Frederik Barkhof

Based at: University College London

Our funding: £70,437

Status: Active

About the project

Many people with MS are initially diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS. When new MS lesions (areas of myelin damage) develop, you may experience symptoms as a relapse. When the body’s natural myelin repair process repairs the damage, your symptoms go away. But most people go on to develop symptoms that gradually get worse, known as secondary progressive MS.

Recent work has found that many MS lesions are still actively damaging nerve fibres even when you aren’t experiencing a relapse. These are called slowly evolving lesions. We don’t know how common slowly evolving MS lesions are, whether they affect disability, or ultimately whether they could be a target for treatments designed for progressive MS.

Using MRI scans, this PhD studentship supervised by Professor Barkhof will aim to find out more about how slowly evolving lesions relate to the progression of MS. They'll also try to understand more about where the iron (which is found around the edges of these lesions) comes from.

How will it help people with MS?

Understanding more about what causes progression in MS could open up new opportunities to design treatments for progressive MS.

The difference you can make

There are currently very few treatments available to help people with progressive MS. Your donation would help support innovative projects like these, which are vital for these treatments to become a reality.

The next research breakthrough is in reach

Your donation will help stop MS.

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    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.

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    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