There is great interest in the effects of dietary factors and their influence on MS disease progression. A number of people with MS modify their diets to become more aligned with some diets that are promoted as being beneficial for MS. However there is a lack of solid evidence that these diets can impact the disease progression of MS.
This PhD project aims to help generate more evidence for the role of dietary factors on MS progression. Ms Alice Saul will focus on dietary patterns, implications of diet quality and inflammation, to determine whether MS outcomes such as disability progression, relapses and symptom severity are impacted by diet.
This knowledge will help provide evidence-based dietary advice to people with MS and enable the design of studies on diet for MS that can be tested through clinical trials.
Ms Alice Saul aims to reduce the knowledge gap of different aspects of dietary intake on disease progression and symptoms of MS by examining the role of diet in MS using the AusLong study – this is an internationally unique cohort of people who were recruited to the study soon after they had initial symptoms suggesting they would develop MS, and who were then followed annually for 10 years.
Within the first year of the postgraduate scholarship, Ms Saul has examined whether diet quality and inflammation are associated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) outcomes, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Ms Saul is currently analysing the data from this work, which will enable her to understand dietary change over 10 years in the AusLong cohort and the predictors of dietary change. This knowledge is essential to provide dietary advice to people living with MS to enhance their quality of life, and to design diets that could be tested in a randomised controlled trial setting.
Ms Saul is currently preparing four manuscripts for publication in scientific journals and has plans to present her work at two international conferences this year.
Updated: 11 June 2020
Updated: 03 January, 2019
Laboratory research that investigates scientific theories behind the possible causes, disease progression, ways to diagnose and better treat MS.
Research that builds on fundamental scientific research to develop new therapies, medical procedures or diagnostics and advances it closer to the clinic.
Clinical research is the culmination of fundamental and translational research turning those research discoveries into treatments and interventions for people with MS.