Microbiome Research in MS

We have launched a groundbreaking international study, known as the International Multiple Sclerosis Microbiome Study - iMSMS. Bringing together an international team of relevant experts and MS research centers, we aim to complete a large and very detailed study of how the microbiota of individual patients impacts their MS susceptibility, progression, and response to treatment. We know that this research will impact our understanding of MS, and we anticipate that it will also impact our approach to its treatment and prevention.

MS susceptibility and disease course are dependent on both an individual’s genetic makeup, as well as their gut microbial environment. This study is the first to systematically and jointly assess the effect of genetics and the environment in MS. A team of established scientists from US, Argentina, UK and Germany bring expertise in microbiome research, DNA sequencing, informatics and clinical care of MS patients, and the desire to work together to tackle this exciting and important work.

The iMSMS will collect biospecimens (blood and stool) from 4,000 research subjects to catalogue individual microbiota populations and to understand which species are protective, neutral, and/or high risk.

We anticipate that the knowledge gained from this study will lead to the design of an entirely new kind of clinical trial that will test our ability to rationally manipulate the gut microbiota in order to alter the course of MS.

Results of this study stand to not only impact MS, but other immune-related disorders as well.

For more information on this study, please visit our study website or call our San Francisco research center at (415)502-7197.