Be a part of changing the future - MS Research Australia

Be a part of changing the future

16 July, 2019
  • Clinical trials into MS are not possible without the participation of people with MS.
  • Six very different studies are highlighted below which are currently recruiting, showing the diversity of trials available for people with MS including psychological interventions, studies into perceived family support, sleep apnoea and more.
  • Visit the MS trials website to discover the latest trials looking for participants.

MS is a very varied and research into the disease is inherently just as diverse. Clinical trials form a significant part of MS research and cover a wide range of areas including psychology, nutrition, physiotherapy and other allied health interventions, as well as the more laboratory and clinic-based research into the biology of MS.

At the core of all these studies are people with MS themselves. Across the whole spectrum of research, people with MS inform both the research questions that need to be asked, and contribute to the research itself.

How can people with MS contribute to research?

People with MS can contribute to research by providing samples, giving their time in the clinic or by answering surveys and questionnaires. In all cases, after extensive research and development, the final step before any research can be translated into clinical practice is a clinical trial or study. This step is vital to confirm that any developed intervention is effective and safe.

There are several possible advantages to participating in clinical trials. These can include potentially gaining access to interventions before they are widely available and receiving extra healthcare and closer monitoring. People who take part in a clinical trial are also contributing to the advancement of scientific knowledge and, in some cases, to improved health for themselves or others with the same disease or condition.

Snapshot of six MS studies currently recruiting

  • An early tailored cognitive behavioural therapy intervention for depression in individuals newly diagnosed with MS
    Researchers from the University of Melbourne are looking for volunteers who have been diagnosed with MS in the last five years to take part in a clinical study testing whether tailored cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – a type of therapy that helps individuals learn skills targeting their thinking and behaviour – or supportive listening, result in better outcomes for people newly diagnosed with MS. Visit the MS trials website to find out more and get involved.
  • Resilience, perceived family support and quality of life in people with MS
    A team at the Federation University, Ballarat are looking into the quality of life (QoL) of people with MS. This research aims to investigate the effect of different levels of perceived family support and how it influences the strength of the relationship between resilience and QoL for people with MS. This study requires participants to complete an online survey consisting of questions on perceived family support, resilience, QoL, and also depression. The survey takes 20-30 minutes to complete. For more information and to get involved visit the MS trials website.
  • The research needs and priorities of people affected by MS and people with a professional connection to MS
    Researchers at the University of Canberra are investigating the research needs and priorities of people affected by MS and people with a professional connection to MS, and why research should focus on the symptoms that they identify. The research will provide a better understanding of the factors that influence the different views on why research should focus on certain symptoms. The research will help healthcare providers and MS societies to determine how best to support people with MS, members of their family and close friends. This study is an online survey and is available here for people with MS and people who have a close connection to a person who has MS, and here for health professionals who provide health services to people with MS.
  • Causes of sleep apnoea in people with MS
    A team at NeuRA (Neuroscience Research Australia) just need a couple more people to take part in an observational study. Participants are asked to come in for one overnight sleep study. In the evening, several sensory tests will be performed before the participant goes to sleep and they will then be monitored as they sleep to improve understanding of the underlying causes of sleep apnoea in people with MS. For more information and to get involved visit the MS trials website.
  • An interactive step training system to reduce falls in people with MS
    Researchers are busy looking for participants to take part in a large study investigating whether a 6-month period of step-training would improve balance and reduce falls in people with MS. This study is using an interactive training system as an exercise program to be used in participants’ homes. The interactive system developed by this research group was recently tested in a pilot study. It was found to be safe and effective in improving stepping, standing balance, coordination and functional performance in people with MS. For more information and to get involved visit the MS trials website.
  • The impact of paediatric MS on health and quality of life
    Researchers from McGill University in Canada are running an online study looking at the impact of paediatric MS on health and quality of life. There is little known about children with MS and the areas of daily living that are affected. Specific areas of concern that children with MS have are not known because there is currently no measure that allows them to report their concerns. The researchers have developed a measure of disability for children and adolescents with MS and would like to assess the feasibility of this measure: the Heck-Laurin Paediatric Index. The aim of this study is to assess the extent to which this index is feasible to use in clinical settings with children and adolescents with MS and parents of children with paediatric MS. For additional information or to take part please contact Nikki Ow at xiao.ow@mail.mcgill.ca.

For more information about these clinical trials and any others please visit the MS trials website

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