Edinburgh Imaging

19 Nov 21. FutureMS-2 launched

The second phase of the FutureMS study, FutureMS-2, has begun at the Anne Rowling Clinic in Edinburgh, with MR brain scans taking place at the Edinburgh Imaging Facility RIE.

FutureMS logo
FutureMS logo

FutureMS Phase 1 was a Scotland-wide study for people who have recently been diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

When people are newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), they do not know what the future will hold. Most people experience occasional bouts of symptoms called 'relapses', but doctors cannot predict how often, or how severe these relapses will be. This can make it difficult for people to make decisions about their lifestyle, work & family.

FutureMS aims to remove the uncertainty that a diagnosis of MS can bring. By using clinical examinations, magnetic resonance (MR) brain imaging & genetic tests, the study gathered information to aim to develop a tool to predict how severe an individual’s MS will be. It also hopes to find opportunities to help prevent relapses, disability accumulation & adverse events amongst people with MS.

The tool being developed also aims to assist doctors make a more informed choice on which of the available licensed drugs to prescribe to people to reduce the relapse rate in MS. Helping them choose the right one for the right person at the right time - this is sometimes called ‘personalised or precision medicine’.

The research study began in 2016 & has recruited 440 participants across 5 locations across Scotland:

  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Aberdeen
  • Dundee
  • Inverness

The study is now fully recruited & the data collected is being analysed with Phase 2 of the FutureMS study - open in Edinburgh & soon to open again across other sites.

FutureMS-2 is the next phase of a research project created in direct response to questions people with MS frequently ask their doctors.

Every person newly diagnosed wants to know how MS will affect them over their lifetime, what can be done to stop the disease progressing & improve their quality of life. FutureMS aims to help answer those questions.

In the first phase of the FutureMS study, the team collected a huge amount of invaluable data from 440 participants newly diagnosed with MS across Scotland. Participants took part within 6 months of their diagnosis & then again 12 months later. The FutureMS researchers are now busy analysing this information.


What's next in the Future MS study?

Multiple sclerosis is a long-term condition. Therefore, to really understand the impact of MS at the level of the individual, the team needs to not only map what happened to someone at the point of their diagnosis, but also to follow up these same individuals over time. In the new phase of FutureMS, participants are being invited to take part again at five & ten years after their diagnosis.

Based on this, the new wave of FutureMS has some new additions. Examples include more of a focus on invisible disability symptoms like pain & fatigue, & wider access to sub-studies at different sites.

The first centre to re-open is at the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic. Other centres will also re-open to participants in Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen & Inverness.

The FutureMS team are incredibly grateful to everyone who has, & will continue to, take part. Each participant in the FutureMS study is irreplaceable & the research team is looking forward to continuing the journey for many years to come.



Social media tags & titles

The second phase of the FutureMS study, FutureMS-2, has begun at the Anne Rowling Clinic in Edinburgh, with MR brain scans taking place at the Edinburgh Imaging Facility RIE.

@AnneRowlClinic @EdinUniBrainSci @EdinUniNeuro