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Our commitment to research

Research Focus

Over the last 11 years MSWA has invested $13.9 million to fund research into finding the cause, better treatments and a cure for MS and all neurological conditions.

We believe that local, national, and international research provides hope for people living with a neurological condition and will improve the lives of our Members and Clients.

In recent years, thanks to our investment into research, our understanding of MS and neurological conditions has significantly improved. This investment would not be possible without Western Australians supporting our fundraising initiatives which allow MSWA to develop new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat all neurological conditions.

Some exciting local research projects funded by MSWA are:

Professor Allan Kermode, Head of Demyelinating Diseases Research at the Perron Institute

Professor Allan Kermode, Head of Demyelinating Diseases Research at the Perron Institute

People living with MS respond to treatments in very different ways. For the treating clinician, it’s important to make an early assessment of a treatment’s effectiveness. Available assessment methods such as MRIs or monitoring of symptoms are time-consuming or expensive. A project led by Professor Allan Kermode of the Perron Institute is looking into the potential of neurofilament light (NfL) to be used as a biomarker of MS activity. They are hoping to develop a simple blood test to use for precise, timely assessment of a patient’s response to their treatment for MS. Read more here.

The PhoCIS Study, Professor Prue Hart

The PhoCIS Study, Professor Prue Hart

In a world-first, a Perth Professor has delayed the development of MS in high-risk individuals using narrowband UVB treatment, something used to treat the skin condition psoriasis. Trials conducted by Professor Prue Hart found that in 3 out of 10 people, with a single episode of MS who were treated with UVB, the progression of their MS was halted.
Read more here.

Brain Plasticity Research, Associate Professor Jennifer Rodger

Brain Plasticity Research, Associate Professor Jennifer Rodger

A/Professor Rodger and her group’s current research explores the physiological, cellular and molecular basis of brain plasticity in order to develop therapeutic strategies to improve brain plasticity in patients, with the aim of developing effective treatments for patients with neurotrauma and neurological disease, accounting for over a quarter of all chronic disability in Australia. Read more here.

Food intake and MS, Dr Lucinda Black

Food intake and MS, Dr Lucinda Black

Dr Lucinda Black, from the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Curtin University is exploring the patterns of the intake of specific foods and nutrients and whether they contribute to the risk of MS. Read more here.

Professor Neville Knuckey

Development of Neuroprotective Stroke treatments, Adjunct Associate Professor Bruno Melonie & Clinical Professor Neville Knuckey

This research aims to develop treatments to minimise brain damage after stroke and cerebral ischaemia. Researchers have discovered that peptides rich in the amino acid arginine are highly neuroprotective and can limit brain damage after a stroke.


Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for MS, Dr Marzena Pedrini
The research by Dr Marzena Pedrini from The Western Australian Neuroscience Research Institute is investigating whether rebooting the immune system will turn off the overactive immune activity which can reduce inflammation and prevent MS relapses.

Enhancing balance and gait in patients with Multiple Sclerosis, Professor Soumya Ghosh
MSWA is supporting this WA based project by Professor Soumya Ghosh with both an incubator grant and two years top up funding.

This study will evaluate whether combining non-invasive brain stimulation, using transcranial direct current stimulation with balance therapy improves mobility and independence among MS patients who have a balance and/or walking impairment.

Genetic variation in the Esptein-Barr Virus (EBV), Professor David Nolan and Dr Monika Tschochner
This WA research by Professor David Nolan and Dr Monika Tschochner explores new evidence of genetic vulnerability that may contribute to the role that EBV plays in MS Risk.

Rewiring the brain and cognitive rehabilitation, Dr Michelle Byrne
Dr Michelle Byrne, the Head of the Clinical Psychology Unit, Centre for Neuromuscular and Neurological Disorders at The University for Western Australia’s research focuses on whether through cognitive retraining programs there are other areas of the brain that can carry out the functions of the brain that are inactive because of MS lesions.

National Research

International Research

The Progressive MS Alliance, Multiple Sclerosis International Federation
The International Progressive MS Alliance is an unprecedented global collaboration of MS organisations, researchers, clinicians, pharmaceutical companies, and people with progressive MS, transforming the landscape of MS.

MSWA Research Forum Series

Register your interest below to attend our next upcoming research forum.

I would like to hear about future news and events:

For more information about our research programs, please contact General Manager Member Services, Sue Shapland on 9365 4888.

Show your support

With your support, MSWA are delivering real things to real people living with neurological conditions in Western Australia.

It is easy to show your support. You can buy a raffle ticket, a lottery ticket, even an entertainment book, or simply donate.

Find out more.