More than 23,000 Australians are affected by multiple sclerosis. There is now strong evidence that the incidence and prevalence of MS is increasing in some parts of the country, giving extra urgency to the need to understand more about the cause, care and possible cure of the disease.
The Brain and Mind Research Institute’s (BMRI) Multiple Sclerosis Research Program, led by Associate Professor Michael Barnett comprises laboratory-based research, clinical trials unit and the MS Clinic located at the BMRI.
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Research in the lab is investigating the protein constituents of MS brain lesions. Supporting this research is the MSRA Brain Bank, and the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Department of Neuropathology, led by Clinical Associate Professor Michael Buckland. Together these three programs represent significant basic science research into MS at the BMRI.
In 2012, scientists in the MS Research Program completed a world-first proteomic analysis of MS brain tissue using techniques developed by the team in 2011. The researchers were primarily interested to identify those proteins involved in remyelination – proteins found in MS lesions where the damaged nerve coatings are showing signs of repair. Once identified, these proteins will provide candidates for treatments for MS targeting a new aspect of the disease.
MS Clinical Trials
The MS Clinical Trials unit coordinates large multinational treatment trials of emerging and novel drug treatments.
Researchers in the MS Clinical Trials Program offer patients access to therapeutic trials of cutting edge therapies such as Fingolimod, DMF and Teriflunomide. The studies conducted include evaluating the safety, efficacy, and long-term impacts of new therapies on patients who have MS.
The MS Clinic at the BMRI was co-founded by Emeritus Professor John Pollard and Associate Professor Michael Barnett. It is run in collaboration between the BMRI, Multiple Sclerosis Australia, the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Sydney Neurology. It is also the largest dedicated MS clinic in New South Wales. Patients not only have access to leading neurologists, but also specialist MS nurses and allied health professionals in the clinic, transforming the care of MS patients with regard to counselling, coordination of services, the management of bladder dysfunction, pain and spasticity.
The clinic complements the MS clinical trials and laboratory research programs at the BMRI.
Relapsing & Progressive MS
The Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Clinical Trials Unit is currently recruiting patients with MS (Relapsing and Progressive), NMO, Optic Neuritis, CIS and CIDP in various International phase 3 clinical trials. Find out more...