Nerve fibre degeneration is thought to underlie clinical disability in MS. Novel therapies aimed at myelin repair are now under development for neuroprotection as well as functional recovery in people with MS. The development of these types of therapies requires a non-invasive way of measuring remyelination, since current techniques are lacking.
The visual system is highly susceptible to damage from MS and the visual system represents an ideal model to study mechanisms of the disease and processes of demyelination and remyelination, since change in conduction speed along the optic nerve due to loss or repair of myelin can be measured by latency of the Visual Evoked Potentials (VEP). Expanding on this, Associate Professor Klistorner has developed a method called multifocal VEP which very accurately measures acute demyelination in the optic nerve.
Scientists at the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center have also recently developed a combined technique that measures both the structural changes (using a method called DTI or Diffusion Tensor guided MRI) and functional changes (using an object recognition task) in the visual system in people with optic neuritis.
Using the Ian Ballard Travel Award, Associate Professor will travel to the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center to use his technique in conjunction with the international techniques to develop a battery of tests that will characterise demyelination in the visual pathway. These tests will be useful in the clinic as well as in clinical trials of treatments aimed at myelin repair.
Updated: 1 March 2015
Updated: 01 January, 2014