Researching the causes of and more effective treatments for MS using a powerful MRI scanner
- Lead researcher:
- Professor Olga Ciccarelli
- Based at:
- Institute of Neurology, University College London
- MS Society funding:
About the project
We have funded Professor Olga Ciccarelli and her team at the Institute of Neurology so that they could buy a more powerful MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner. The scanner is able to analyse brain and spinal cord tissue in more detail than previously possible, and is the only one in the UK dedicated solely to MS research.
This vital piece of equipment helps researchers to understand what happens in the brain of someone with MS, and work towards the development of new treatments. Research at the MRI Unit has made vital contributions to the development of new diagnostic criteria and new treatments for people with relapsing remitting MS.
The team will focus on four main areas of research:
- Improving the accuracy and speed of diagnosis, using innovative imaging techniques to monitor people with MS from the onset of their first symptoms.
- Predicting the course of MS, in order to better inform people with MS on decisions involving future treatments.
- Identifying neuroprotective treatments for progressive MS, as the development of therapies that protect nerve fibres is vital in the fight to slow or stop the onset of disability.
- Identifying new treatments that enhance nerve cell repair and remyelination, protecting nerve cells and allowing them to recover.
How will it help people with MS?
Professor Olga Ciccarelli and her team will support a number of important research projects within the UK, helping us to answer new questions about MS that researchers were previously unable to address. Importantly, the research programme at the MRI Unit could lead to new treatments for slowing or preventing the progression of MS disability, which is our number one research priority. This scanner will help researchers to understand more about how MS progresses, so that new strategies for treating MS and preventing disability can be identified as quickly as possible.
The difference you can make
This MRI scanner is helping researchers to make discoveries that are vital in our fight to understand what causes MS.