Measuring fatigue in MS

MRI interior

Lead researcher: Dr Jacqueline Palace

Based at: University of Oxford

MS Society funding: £40,000

Status: Active

About the project

About three quarters of people with MS experience fatigue as a symptom. For many it has a big impact on their quality of life. Currently, there's no way to precisely measure fatigue, making it hard to accurately test which treatments for it can make a real difference. This project will use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to look for biological markers of fatigue. By measuring blood flow to the spine and brain researchers hope to identify the pathways in the brain that are activated in fatigue.

This will allow them to find objective measures of fatigue that can be used to assess different rehabilitation and treatment options in clinical trials and beyond.

How will it help people with MS?

Finding treatments that are effective for fatigue for people with MS is one of our top research priorities. To achieve this, it’s important to develop non-invasive techniques that accurately and objectively measure fatigue. We can then test and compare new treatments and therapies and pick the best. This project aims to deliver such a technique, as well as give us more insight into what happens in the brain during fatigue.

The difference you can make

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

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£10a month could pay for lab equipment like microscope slides to study the building blocks of MS

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Photo: young girl with MS sits in hospital chair smiling at male nurse