Investigating which measures could help to predict the long-term course of MS

mri scan of the brain

Dr Declan Chard

University College London


About the project

Previous research suggests that around a quarter of people diagnosed with MS develop little or no physical disability in the first 10-20 years after they experience their first symptoms. Although the disease modifying treatments that are available for relapsing remitting MS can be effective in reducing relapses, they also carry a risk of long-term side effects. Currently, neurologists cannot predict how severe someone's MS will become and how quickly, so it is difficult for people with MS to make long term decisions about the best treatment option for them.

To investigate this issue, the researchers will work with a group of people first diagnosed with MS 30 years ago, and who have been followed up on a regular basis since then. By looking at the long term MRI and clinical data, this research will aim to identify measures that might predict who will go onto develop disability after an MS diagnosis and who will not. The researchers will also investigate whether it is possible to predict the long-term course of MS using clinical information as well as MRI scans.

How will it help people with MS?

This study will help improve our understanding of the long term course of MS, which could help people to make more informed choices about their treatment options.

The difference you can make

The unpredictability of MS is very hard to live with, and 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 – please help us fund more MS research.

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.

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

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£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

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MS researcher at work in lab, using a pipette