Key Advances

In 2019 Dr Justin Garber, the University of Sydney, was awarded a Trish MS Research Foundation Postgraduate Scholarship titled “Using MRI to measure MS severity and progression”.

Due to being appointed to a Staff Specialist Neurologist position at Westmead Hospital, as Director of the MS Clinic, Dr Garber completed the final year of his Postgraduate Scholarship over two years, with completion of data analysis, conference abstracts, journal articles and the PhD thesis being written.

Dr Garber’s research has led to a number of key advances in the understanding of the disease mechanism that underlie multiple sclerosis, especially in the way MS damages the network structure of the brain and how that mediates neurological disability. A promising biomarker has been developed that can predict which patient with progressive MS will worsen in their neurological disability over 2 years and which patients will not, allowing for better prediction models, as well as the potential identification of patients in need of immediate intervention. This research will guide future treatment trials into progressive forms of MS.

Dr Garber has led a number of Research conference presentations: “Implications for the registration of white matter structures in MS connectome analysis”, “Quantifying the T1 hypo-intensity of MS lesions” and “Incorporating Cumulative Damage Along White Matter Tracts in Structural Connectomes in MS”.

This project finished with the completion of Dr Justin Garber’s PhD, which is the culmination of 4 years of detailed longitudinal study of patients with progressive MS. This research opens several further avenues of inquiry and will be built upon through further research endeavours in the future notably with Dr Garber’s Neuroimmunology clinical research practice at Westmead Hospital in Sydney, as well as through the Brain and Mind Centre MS clinical trials research unit at the University of Sydney.