Longitudinal trajectories of medication use and relationship with clinical features in multiple sclerosis

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Number of Honour Places Available
Medicine and Radiology
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Steve Simpson, Jr. steve.simpson@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Professor Tracey Weiland tweiland@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page

Project Details

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, autoimmune, demyelinating condition of the central nervous system, manifesting in sensory, motor and/or cognitive dysfunction. Given its onset is typically in the prime years of life – often in the 20s – it has devastating impacts on the quality of life and independent living of the patients so affected.

There is happily an increasing number of medications for people living with MS, including immune-modulating medications which act directly on the underlying pathophysiology of the disease, as well as a number of symptom treating medications for tremor, incontinence, and other common symptoms in these patients. While the clinical utility of these medications has been substantiated in randomised controlled trials, it is of interest to assess the interrelationship of these medications with clinical outcomes and especially quality of life. It is also important for scientists and medical practitioners to know the trajectory of medication use, both in terms of adherence and the trends in evidence, as more powerful drugs replace earlier iterations.

This project will make use of the HOLISM cohort study (n=2,644 at baseline, n=1,401 at 2.5-yr follow-up, n=952 at 5-yr follow-up) to assess the trajectories of MS medications, both immunomodulatory and symptom targeting, over the course of follow-up, as well as the relationship of medication use with clinical course - including relapse rate, disability as measured by the Patient Determined Disease Steps and fatigue as measured by the Fatigue Severity Scale - and quality of life as measured by the MSQOL-54.

Analysis methods to be employed include linear regression, multilevel mixed-effects linear regression, log-binomial regression, and/or Poisson regression, including univariable and multivariable models, as well as potential inter-group assessment of interaction by sex, age, MS course, or others as appropriate.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Medicine and Radiology

Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital

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