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The Australian MS Longitudinal Study – what survey data can reveal

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Published on Jul 19, 2016

Interview with Associate Professor Ingrid Van der Mei - The Australian MS Longitudinal Study – new directions, and what survey data can tell us.

The Australian MS Longitudinal Study (AMSLS) is a survey-based research study that has been running since 2001 and now has over 3000 people completing research surveys each year. The study is designed to provide data of practical use for improving the lives of Australians living with MS.

The study is a partnership between MS Research Australia and the Menzies Institute for Medical Research (University of Tasmania). All Australians with MS over 18 years of age are welcome to register with the study.

MS Research Australia is the largest national organisation dedicated to funding and coordinating multiple sclerosis research in Australia, as part of the worldwide effort to solve MS. Its goal is to accelerate research: into the cause, better treatments and prevention, with the aim of ultimately finding a cure for MS.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the most common neurological disease affecting young adults, often diagnosed between the ages of 20 to 40 and affects three times more women than men. As yet, there is no cure. MS is the result of damage to myelin -- a protective sheath surrounding nerve fibres of the central nervous system. When myelin is damaged, this interferes with messages between the brain and other parts of the body. The symptoms of MS are different for each person; sometimes they even vary within the same person. For some, MS is characterised by periods of relapse and remission, while for others it has a progressive pattern. For everyone, it makes life unpredictable.

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