Piloting a lifestyle intervention trial in MS

Dr Steve Simpson, Jr.

The University of Melbourne, VIC

| Better treatments | Social And Applied Research | Incubator | 2019 | Investigator Led Research |


The MS community is very interested in the role of modifiable lifestyle factors in MS as it represents something that can empower individuals in the management of their own long-term health. While much is already known about the role of lifestyle factors in the risk of developing MS, there is still a lack of understanding as to whether these factors can impact progression and disease course in MS.

Dr Steve Simpson, Jr. will carry out a pilot study, to test whether it is practical to conduct a clinical trial into the effects of multiple lifestyle modifications on clinical outcomes in MS. These include an integrated program incorporating a healthy diet, sufficient physical activity, adequate sun exposure, appropriate supplement use, non-smoking and stress reduction.

In this feasibility study, 45 people with relapsing remitting MS will be identified from clinical records, and will be randomly allocated into either a treatment or control group for modifiable lifestyle factors. This study will determine the percentage of people approached who consent to participate, and the percentage of each group whom stay with the treatment (also known as adherence). This will help the scientists to determine the number of people they will need in a larger study to reach a definite result and will aid in the preparation for a larger trial.

Dr Simpson is also interested in assessing what characteristics might indicate if a person is likely to participate and what characteristics make them more likely to stick to any given routine.

Updated: 23 January 2019

Updated: 02 January, 2019

Stages of the research process

Fundamental laboratory

Laboratory research that investigates scientific theories behind the possible causes, disease progression, ways to diagnose and better treat MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 10+ years

Research that builds on fundamental scientific research to develop new therapies, medical procedures or diagnostics and advances it closer to the clinic.

Lab to clinic timeline: 5+ years
Clinical Studies
and Clinical Trials

Clinical research is the culmination of fundamental and translational research turning those research discoveries into treatments and interventions for people with MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 1-5 years


Grant Awarded

  • Incubator Grant

Total Funding

  • $23,271


  • 1 year - starting 2019

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