People with MS are more likely to experience depression, causing significant burden to the individual and the healthcare system. New therapies for depression that are effective, inexpensive and tolerable are urgently needed. Healthy diets that are rich in fruits and vegetables have been shown in several recent studies to improve depressive symptoms. One suggested reason for this effect is due to the high concentration of polyphenols (micronutrients found in fruits and vegetables), which have a wide range of beneficial properties believed to be relevant to improving depression. While the evidence is promising, the role of polyphenols in improving depression in people with MS has not yet been studied.
Using several different study designs, this project will thoroughly investigate the role of polyphenols in managing depression in MS. If shown to be effective, this research could provide strong evidence for the role of a tolerable, low-cost, and widely available strategy to help improve depression in people with MS.
Dr Wolfgang Marx has finalised his analyses of the AusImmune and AusLong (AusImmune Longitudinal study) datasets to establish the relationship between polyphenol intake, depressive symptoms and MS. He is currently in the process of using data from an existing clinical trial, called the RELIEF trial, to provide microbiome data, which will examine the relationship between dietary polyphenol intake, depressive symptoms and the composition of the gut microbiome. As part of his research, Dr Marx has made substantial progress in developing international collaborations in polyphenol and microbiome research.
Updated: 31 March 2023
Updated: 21 January, 2020
Laboratory research that investigates scientific theories behind the possible causes, disease progression, ways to diagnose and better treat MS.
Research that builds on fundamental scientific research to develop new therapies, medical procedures or diagnostics and advances it closer to the clinic.
Clinical research is the culmination of fundamental and translational research turning those research discoveries into treatments and interventions for people with MS.