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Feb 2017
Trish Foundation contributes to first-ever discovery
Jun 2017
Researchers funded by the Trish Foundation making great progress
Dec 2017
Announcement by NHMRC
Jan 2018
2018 Round of Funding Four new Projects announced
Jun 2018
Exciting regrowth of nerve fibres
Jun 2018
Dr Merson secures $1 million from NHMRC
Jun 2018
Findings submitted for publication
Jan 2019
New Research Projects commencing 2019 announced

Subclinical disease progression

and repair in multiple sclerosis: 

novel application of standardised

functional visual biomarkers 


Postgraduate Scholarship - $67,000 over 2017-2018 funded by the Trish Multiple Sclerosis Research Foundation

Dr Joshua Barton, Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney, NSW

Associate Professor Michael Barnett, Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney, NSW


The current methods available to clinicians and researchers to measure the progression of disease and disability in people with MS are relatively insensitive and must be measured over relatively long periods of time. However, people with early MS often have changes to their brains which do not result in symptoms, so called ‘sub-clinical changes’ which can affect disability later in the disease. Clinical trials for medications that aim to slow or halt disability progression are also hampered by this lack of sensitive measures for progression.

Dr Barton, a clinician currently receiving advanced training in neurology, will undertake a postgraduate scholarship to develop a tablet based tool that will track sub-clinical changes in real-time.

The tests, that can be easily administered in the clinic, or for the first time, in a person’s home, will measure aspects of the visual system - the eyes and the parts of the brain that process vision. The tablet based testing will be recorded over time and compared with more traditional measures of relapse activity and disability, measurements taken by advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other markers of disturbance to the visual pathway.

Dr Barton will also determine whether these visual measurements also show improvement in people who improve clinically after commencing highly effective disease modifying therapy for their MS. It is expected this research will yield a novel tool able to be used in clinical trials and in the clinic to monitor disease progression and the effectiveness of therapies for MS in the real world setting.

Trish Foundation & MS Research Australia Working together to find a cure for MS
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