Monitoring disease progression in people living with MS


Mr Samuel Klistorner

The University of Sydney

| Better treatments | Neurobiology | Scholarship | 2022 | Investigator Led Research |


Recent evidence suggests that in addition to acute damage caused by lesions (spots of active inflammation in the brain and spinal cord), many people living with MS also display chronic inflammation around long-standing lesions (called slow-burning inflammation). Mr Klistorner and his team have shown that slow-burning inflammation (measured by MRI as an expansion of chronic lesions) is the most significant contributor to disease progression in people living with MS who are treated.  

 Their recent study has revealed that this process of lesion expansion is initiated by the loss of myelin around chronic lesions. They have also demonstrated that the degree of lesion expansion depends on the distance from the ventricles (a structure in the middle of the brain filled with cerebral-spinal fluid) and is strongly associated with the size of the network of small vessels inside the ventricles (choroid plexus), which is likely to play a very important role in sustaining chronic inflammation in MS.  

 The team are now investigating the relationship between plexus enlargement and inflammation around chronic lesions by examining people at the earliest stage of MS. In addition, they also plan to investigate potential effects of remyelination therapies in preventing damage of brain tissue around chronic MS lesions. If confirmed, this will suggest that people living with MS displaying a significant degree of activity at the rim of chronic lesions may benefit from remyelination therapies. Based on the outcomes, the team will then develop an AI based model to assist in modelling lesion activity in a fast and semi-automated manner. 

Updated: 16 August, 2022

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

  • Postgraduate Scholarship

Total Funding

  • $105,000


  • 3 years – starting 2022

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Monitoring disease progression in people living with MS