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BEHANDLING-God og treffsikker diagnostikk, behandling og rehabilitering

MRI data from Oslo MS patients in the EU H2020 project MultipleMS

Alternative title: Molekylære mekanismer og biomarkører ved multippel sklerose

Awarded: NOK 0.50 mill.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system, and in Norway more than 12,000 adults are affected. MS is a heterogeneous disease, and biomarkers are needed that will help to personalize the treatment. This project aims to identify both image-based (MRI images of the brain) - and molecular biomarkers for MS in collaboration with the EU project "MultipleMS" with 21 partners from 12 countries. We collect data from newly diagnosed MS patients in Oslo who are followed over three years. A thorough neurological examination is performed and MRI of the brain is taken at inclusion and after 24 months. As of 2021, we have now performed 114 MRI scanning sessions of 29 MS patients, with multiple timepoints including baseline, 6, 12, 24, and 36 month follow-ups. 26 local healthy control participants have also been scanned to be included in a local case-control study. Internationally, these data have contributed to several large multicenter studies as a part of the EU-project MultipleMS in collaboration with the research project IMSGC, as follows: 1) "Multicenter genome-wide association study on white matter lesion volume in relapsing multiple sclerosis", lead by Till Andlauer of Technical University Munich; 2) "Association MS-associated HLA variants with atrophy and lesion load metrics," and 2) "Multiple regression models of HLA genetic burden and cross-sectional/longitudinal MRI measures," lead by Roland Henry of University of California-San Francisco. These studies are on-going and have been presented at the MultipleMS virtual meeting. These data have also been included in large multicenter study as part of the MAGNIMS consortium, lead by Oslo which includes 434 MS patients across 6 European MS centers. A publication deadline on this project has been set for December 1. 2021. These data have been presented at the biannual virutal MAGNIMS meetings in 2021, and will also be presented at the annual ECTRIMS meeting in October 2021.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) with unknown aetiology. The leading hypothesis is that MS is caused by a combination of genetic susceptibility, environmental risk factors and stochastic events. To date, there is no cure for MS, only disease modifying therapies are available. MultipleMS, funded by the Horizon2020 program, is a large collaborative project consisting of 21 partners from 12 countries. MultipleMS aims to identify new biomarkers for disease mechanisms and progression in order to increase the understanding of MS disease and improve MS healthcare. The MS research groupleader H F Harbo at University of Oslo/Oslo University Hospital has a leading role in the MultipleMS consortium. A significant element in our contribution is to provide longitudinal data from 25 newly diagnosed Norwegian MS patients. We will provide clinical data including neurological examinations, MRI scans, cognitive tests, environmental variables etc., as well as biological material. Clinical assessments and biomaterial sampling at baseline and follow-up at 12 and 24 months is mandatory, and these expenses will be covered by the MultipleMS EU grant. However, to better understand the impact of the pathological processes in the CNS of MS patients, we want to expand the collection of MRI data from several time points. Hence, we now apply for funding to perform additional MRI scannings of our 25 MS patients at month 6, 12 and 36 from baseline. Sharing additional data from our MS patients with the EU-project will strengthen the impact of the data set provided by the Norwegian partners. Our contribution will be more visible and thus strengthen Norway`s position as an attractive partner. This project will also generate data that will be important additions to ongoing projects in Oslo, concerning correlations between MRI patterns and molecular pathways, epigenetic and gene expression data, several of these funded by the RCN.

Funding scheme:

BEHANDLING-God og treffsikker diagnostikk, behandling og rehabilitering

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