Using MRI to measure MS severity and progression

In 2019 Dr Justin Garber, The University of Sydney, was awarded a three-year Postgraduate Scholarship fully funded by the Trish Foundation, his Co-investigators being Professor Michael Barnett and Dr Chenyu Wang.

Dr Garber has recruited 24 participants with progressive MS for this study who have had brain MRIs performed every 6 months. At each visit, they are also having physical examinations and other physical and cognitive tests to measure their disability and rates of progression.

Dr Garber is currently developing the tools to measure changes in the participants’ MRI scans using measures of brain volume as well as tissue damage within MS lesions and outside of MS lesions. Some of these techniques will contribute to creating a map of the connections throughout the brain which can be used to measure damage caused by MS. Some refinements to the original research proposal have been made including focusing on the motor system of the brain and measuring damage of MS lesions.

Dr Garber has presented this work at several national conferences and has published several manuscripts in scientific journals.