Validation of diet engagement against dietary intake in multiple sclerosis

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

Diet quality, and associated qualities like BMI and dyslipidaemia, have been implicated in MS onset and progression. Accordingly, a number of diets have been proposed which may improve clinical course in MS, including vegetarian, paleo, non-dairy, and other diets. People with MS, seeking to find some way to improve their disease, frequently attempt these diets but with varying degrees of adherence.

This project, making use of HOLISM longitudinal cohort study (n=1,401 at 2.5-yr follow-up, n=952 at 5-yr follow-up), will use the Diet Habits Questionnaire, a metric of diet quality and food intake, to assess the degree of agreement between stated adherence to various diet regimens with what participants actually consume. This will be of utility in efforts to improve people’s adherence to diets, as well as to better understand the comprehensibility of diet programs to the general public.

The primary analysis method here will be index analysis, effectively giving participants a score based on how closely their dietary intake matches with a program’s diet. Other 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

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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