Secondary Care

MS Society backs 13 new health tech projects

The Multiple Sclerosis Society (MS Society) has committed £1.3 million to fund 13 new tech projects.

It includes projects on symptom management, projects to develop MS services, to help develop new treatments, to improve diagnosis and a project to explore the causes of MS.

The projects include virtual reality, wearable robots, magnetic brain stimulation, research on MS progression, and studies exploring new technologies to manage MS symptoms.

Dr Siva Nair from Royal Hallamshire Hospital and Amy Walker from Glasgow Caledonian University are working on one project to explore how people can use wearable robots or virtual reality games to exercise – even if a person uses a wheelchair or finds it hard to use their arms and hands.

Dr Robert Dineen from the University of Nottingham will be investigating a new way to improve cognitive symptoms. The technique, called intermittent theta burst stimulation, uses a magnetic device placed on the side of your head to active specific brain regions.

The projects will also focus on three areas in the MS Society plan to stop MS, including whether haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) may cause damage to nerves through the use of chemotherapy. Researchers will explore the role of a type of immune cell called monocytes in myelin repair and how myelin-making cells communicate with nerve cells, and whether this affects their ability to protect nerves from damage.

Dr Susan Kohlhaas, Director of Research, Multiple Sclerosis Society said “More than 100,000 people live with MS in the UK and, for many people living with progressive forms of the condition, there are no treatments available. We believe we can stop MS, and until then we urgently need to find new and innovative ways to help everyone with the condition.”

“We’re investing in these projects because they have the potential to significantly improve quality of life for everyone living with MS, and ultimately help us stop MS faster.”