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Date: 28 November 2020

Time: 05:36

Multiple sclerosis research at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Research Consultant Dr Michael Douglas is undertaking an active research programme for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who attend the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

At the present time the MS Team is involved in the following research:

  1. RebiSmart user trial
  2. International survey in MS – cost of illness and unmet need (Novartis)
  3. CUPID trial – cannabinoid use in progressive inflammatory brain disease
  4. Fatigue management courses
  5. DNA study
  6. BEACON
  7. Planned MS-related research studies

1. RebiSmart user trial

RebiSmart is a new device approved in the European Union for the administration of the disease modifying drug called Rebif.

Rebif is a treatment indicated for patients who experience relapsing multiple sclerosis. It is self-injected under the skin three times a week. The new RebiSmart device has been developed to help patients with the self-injection process, with the aim of making it easier and more comfortable.

The purpose of this study is to see how many patients liked using the new RebiSmart injection device for their Rebif injections. The study will also look at how many patients found the device easy to use and what the top three most useful functions of the device are.

If you are interested in this research, please contact your MS specialist nurse.

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2. International survey in MS – cost of illness and unmet need (Novartis)

The purpose of this survey (questionnaire) is to investigate the quality of life, and treatment preferences, of patients with MS in a number of countries:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • UK

This is a cross-sectional, non-interventional, retrospective observational cost of illness survey study:

  • to determine the cost of MS from a societal and payer perspective
  • to determine health state utility and patient treatment preferences in MS
  • to assess health outcomes (quality of life, fatigue)

If you are interested in this research, please contact your MS specialist nurse.

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3. CUPID trial – cannabinoid use in progressive inflammatory brain disease

CUPID is a clinical trial which will evaluate whether THC –  one of many chemical compounds (cannabinoids) found in the cannabis plant – might slow the development of disability in MS. The trial is for people with progressive MS. It began in 2006 and is expected to complete in 2012.

Recruitment to this study is now complete.

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4. Fatigue management courses

The MS Team has run fatigue management courses for several years and found anecdotally that people who attend them say they experience a reduction in their perceptions of their fatigue.

The team is running a national randomised control research study examining the effect of attending a six-week fatigue management course on a person with MS who has fatigue. The trial began in 2009 and is expected to complete in 2011. Recruitment is ongoing.  

If you are interested in this research, please contact your MS specialist nurse, physiotherapist, dietician or occupational therapist.

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5. DNA study

This study is designed to try and identify the genetic factors that are important in MS. Some of these factors influence how likely an individual is to develop the disease, while others influence how the disease will affect them or how they will respond to treatment.

By identifying these genes there will a valuable insight into the disease, bringing closer effective treatments and preventative measures.

If you are interested in this research, please contact your MS specialist nurse.

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6. BEACON

Good treatment adherence requires patients to learn about the treatment and its benefits, as well as its limitations. Information on MS itself is also important in keeping patients on treatment. 

Information is supplied mainly by the MS nurse and neurologist, who also need to listen carefully to patients’ concerns or problems with treatment in order to correct them as soon as possible.  Problems that are not resolved can result in patients giving up treatment.

The purpose of this study is to investigate if nurse support leads to better adherence to treatment.  Patient adherence in this study will be compared to an older MS study where there was less focus on nurse support for patients. The study will also look at how the way in which people cope with MS, and depression, can affect treatment concordance.

If you are interested in this research, please contact your MS specialist nurse.

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7. Planned MS-related research studies

  1. Tysabri observational study
  2. Fingolimod safety study

For more information regarding these two studies, please speak to your MS nurse.

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