Featured research: MS-STAT2 study



Is Simvastatin an effective treatment for Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS)?


How does it work?

Simvastatin is one of a group of statin medications currently used to treat high cholesterol.  A team of researchers at University College London (UCL) investigated the effect of Simvastatin in a small phase 2 trial (MS-STAT1) and found that not only did it improve levels of disability and slow down progression of disease, it also reduced the rate of brain atrophy (shrinkage) which suggests that it may also have a role in protecting nerves from damage.  At the moment there are no treatments available to slow or stop the disability associated with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  If this trial is successful, Simvastatin could become one of the first ever licensed treatments for SPMS!


The race is on!

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our ability to recruit people to the MS-STAT2 trial and we now only have a couple of months to recruit as many people as possible to the trial.  This is such an exciting opportunity for people with SPMS that we want to make sure that as many people as possible know about the trial and know what’s involved should they wish to take part! 


So what’s involved?

If you express an interest in taking part, you will initially be contacted by the Southampton MS trial team to check that you are eligible.  The main inclusion criteria are:

  • A confirmed diagnosis of SPMS
  • Aged between 25-65
  • An EDSS score of 4.0- 6.5 (inclusive)

Once we have confirmed eligibility, you will then be invited to attend a screening and baseline appointment where we will discuss the trial and gather some information about your MS, medication you may currently taking and what your mobility is like.  We will take some blood and also ask you a number of questions via self reported questionnaires.  These help us to measure how you manage your day to day life with SPMS and how that might change over the course of the trial.

You will then be seen by the trial team every 6 months for the 3 year duration of the trial.  At each visit we will take some bloods to make sure that you are well on the trial and take some objective measures.  For example, we will test your walking with a timed walk test and your upper limb function using the 9 hole peg test.

If you find that travelling to Southampton every 6 months is too time consuming we can now offer a virtual visit at each 6 month point meaning you only need to see us annually.

Joining a trial is a shared decision between the research team who provide all the trial information and the participant.  Ultimately it is up to you if you want to take part and requesting information on the trial doesn’t commit you in any way.

Contact us

If you are interested in taking part and think you might be eligible, please contact the MS research team on neuroms@uhs.nhs.uk for an initial discussion