As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds across the globe, there is an urgent need for data on the impact of the virus on people with MS and other conditions where the brain is impacted by the immune system, who are almost universally exposed to therapies that suppress the immune system.
This project, led by Associate Professor Anneke van der Walt, will work with the Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists (ANZAN) and establish a registry to record people with MS or other neurological immune disorders who have also been infected with COVID-19.
This information will be used to understand if people with MS are at an increased risk of contracting the infection or if they do, whether their outcomes are worse. Since MS medications all impact the immune system differently, we also need to understand whether being on different MS treatments change the risk or outcome of a COVID-19 infection. The team will also examine whether a person’s age or level of disability impact on COVID-19 infection risk or outcome.
The information collected in Australia and New Zealand will also be contributed to an international data registry set up by the MS international Foundation (MSIF) and MS Data Alliance (MSDA). This is particularly important because MS is relatively rare, and rates of COVID-19 in Australia and New Zealand relatively low, so sharing collected information in an international registry will give us more information so people with MS and their medical teams can to make the best most informed decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
People with MS who have contracted COVID-19 can contact their neurologists to be included in the registry. This study will also complement the patient-reported data being collected through the AMSLS COVID-19 and MS Study.
Updated 1 July 2020
Updated: 06 October, 2020