Understanding MS disease progression using MRI - MS Research Australia

Understanding MS disease progression using MRI

Dr Chenyu Wang

The University of Sydney, NSW

| Better treatments | Neurobiology | Fellowship | 2019 | Investigator Led Research |


Disease progression in MS often involves many changes in the brain such as inflammation, damage to the myelin sheaths that surround nerve fibres, repair of the myelin and loss of the nerve fibres themselves. Usually these changes are “silent” – that is they do not directly lead to obvious symptoms or symptom improvement.

Treatments for MS currently reduce inflammation and activity of the immune system and the next generation of treatments are focusing on repairing some of the damage caused by the immune system in MS. However, there is a lack of ways to identify these “silent” changes and whether there has been any disease progression or indeed whether there has been disease improvement.

This project will develop a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based analysis platform to monitor silent disease progression in people with MS, and track changes to lesions, nerve fibres and myelin over time and across different areas in the brain. This platform will produce an online disease status report and provide valuable information in monitoring disease progression, showing how a person responds to treatment and possibly assisting clinical decisions in the future.

It is hoped this platform will provide a framework that can be implemented in clinical trials to help test new myelin repair therapies and ultimately in clinical practice to monitor treatment response.

Updated: 23 January 2019

Updated: 04 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

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship

Total Funding

  • $180,000


  • 3 years - starting 2019

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