Proactive monitoring of neurological function in MS

Associate Professor Anneke Van der Walt

Monash University, VIC

| Better treatments | Epidemiology | Genetics | Project | 2020 | Investigator Led Research |


Knowing as early as possible if a treatment for MS is keeping the disease under full control is important but difficult to do. The reason for this is that the ‘usual care’ or ‘one size fits all’ model of healthcare relies on people with MS seeing their neurologist for 15-30 minutes, once or twice a year. Treatment decisions are therefore made on a brief snapshot of how someone is functioning rather than real-life long term information.

New technology, especially health apps and smartphones, have made it possible for people with MS to collect information during their daily life. If we combine this information with routine neurology assessments, MRI data and even genetic information, we can, for the first time, get a complete picture of someone's functioning. This can help more rapidly determine if a medication is working and how a person’s MS is really going. By detecting subtle changes earlier, MS treatments can be used more efficiently. These subtle changes may be used to test and develop new treatments for progressive MS, as currently there is no rapid and reliable method to test new treatments in progressive MS.

This study will test 3 different health apps in MS clinics in Melbourne and compare this information with detailed clinical notes of the participants. This will allow the researchers to determine whether they can detect subtle changes using these apps and whether they can use this information to detect meaningful changes in people's MS when using these apps. The researchers will also collect blood samples (for genetic profiles) and perform MRIs on all the participants in order to try and find common signs which may allow to predict the course of someone’s MS.

Updated 22 January 2020

Updated: 21 January, 2020

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

  • Project Grant

Total Funding

  • $207,570


  • 3 years

Read More
MS Researcher Dr Grant Parnell

Newsletter subscription

  • Enter your details

Proactive monitoring of neurological function in MS