Featured research: understanding multiple sclerosis better

Southampton researchers are looking for people with a diagnosis of progressive multiple sclerosis (PMS) to take part in a research study. This will explore how infections affect progression of multiple sclerosis over a two and a half year period. It is funded by the Multiple Sclerosis Society and will take place in Southampton General Hospital.

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Infections and disability

The purpose of this study is to investigate if there is a link between infections and the development of disability in multiple sclerosis. It is being conducted by Dr Ian Galea (principal investigator) and his team within the Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton and has been reviewed for ethical compliance by NHS Health Research Authority, NRES Committee South Central - Hampshire B.

Taking part

The research team now need the help of people who are:

  • living with a progressive multiple sclerosis
  • able to walk, with or without walking aids
  • able to travel to the Wessex Neurological Centre at Southampton General Hospital

Travel expenses for public transport / free parking at the hospital will be provided.

If you're interested in taking part in this study, please contact the Systemic Infections in Multiple Sclerosis (SIMS) Study research team at sims@soton.ac.uk or 07867142277. We will then arrange an initial visit to provide you with information and understand whether you are eligible for the study or not.

Participant information sheet and consent forms will be given during this visit to take home and decide if you wish to join the study. There is no obligation to join the study following this visit.

If you are eligible to take part in study, you will be asked to:

  • provide weekly urine samples. You will be given a special double-packed urine collection kit to store small samples of urine in your home freezer. You will be asked to bring this kit with you when you come into the clinic.
  • record any infections that you may have over the study period. You will receive training from the researchers on how to look for signs of infection.
  • attend a clinic at Southampton General Hospital once every three months. Appointments will be 30 minutes to one hour long. The appointments will involve some neurological tests; blood and urine samples may be collected.
  • be visited by a member of the research team at your home every six months to monitor your physical activity. You will be asked to wear a monitor for a week to help monitor your physical activity.
  • have two MRI scans, one at the start of the study and another at the end.

The research team will keep in touch with you throughout the study and will be available for you to contact throughout. The research team will request that they can view your medical records to access your clinical details. You will be asked to explicitly give your permission for this on the consent form. Your information will not be shared and remains confidential within the research team.

Contact us

If you would like to find more information about this study and receive a participation information sheet, please contact the SIMS Study research team at sims@soton.ac.uk or 07867142277. Please note that enquiring about participation does not commit you in any way.

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