Research done here, to benefit MS patients here — and around the world

The Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center brings together internationally known doctors, researchers and educators who specialize in MS and related diseases. As a result, we can offer patients promising new therapies that are often only available through research or clinical trials.

We’re actively studying all four types of MS, including how and why people move from one stage to another. We have unmatched experience diagnosing and studying related disorders that can be confused with MS, such as neuromyelitis optic (NMO), neurosarcoidosis, autoimmune encephalitis and rheumatological disorders that affect the nervous system, so you can feel more confident of your diagnosis and treatment at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.

Our MS research team is recognized on both the national and international stage, with funding from leading scientific organizations like the National Institutes of Health, research awards, presentations at international symposiums and leadership positions with international MS medical societies.

Multiple sclerosis experts search for answers

Neuroimmunology researcher inspecting vial in lab wearing face maskOhio State researchers focus on the most pressing topics related to MS. Although there are over 15 drugs that decrease risk of relapse, we know that not everyone responds to these drugs in the same way. We’re always working to find new drugs that are safer, more effective, have fewer side effects and halt progressing MS. We also want to support earlier diagnosis and testing that can help doctors more quickly identify when a person may be moving from one stage of MS to another. Most recently, we’ve even begun investigating how we might actually reverse the neurological damage caused by MS and other diseases, and this new cell discovery shows exciting promise and offers reason for new hope.

Of course, our ultimate motivation is to find a cure for MS.

Active MS clinical trials at Ohio State

Our team is actively recruiting participants who have MS for a variety of clinical trials. A few studies are listed below and more research is started every day. To get the most up-to-date information, contact a member of our research team at 614-293-6123 or by email at msresearch@osumc.edu.

BTK inhibitors

Ohio State has been investigating the use of an oral drug for relapsing and progressive forms of MS that blocks an enzyme called Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK). Drugs in this category are called BTK inhibitors. One of the studied drug’s unique features is the ability to affect not only circulating immune cells, but also resident immune cells in the brain called microglia.

In phase II studies of these BTK inhibitors, there’s been a significant reduction in new and active MRI lesions in patients with relapsing forms of MS. There’s also hope that these drugs will prevent the progression of disability in patients with progressive forms of MS. Visit mymstrials.com to learn more about current BTKi Inhibitor studies.

We’re actively recruiting participants for the following BTKi inhibitors studies:

  • RRMS: For participants who are between 18-55 years old and have a current diagnosis of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). The study is named EFC16033-GEMINI 1.
  • PPMS: For participants who are between 18-55 years old and have a current diagnosis of primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). The study is named EFC16035-PERSEUS
  • nrSPMS: For partipants who are beteween the ages of 18-60 years old and have a current diagnosis of non-relapsing secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (nrSPMS). This study is named EFC16645-HERCULES)

COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness

A second recent study at Ohio State is a COVID-19 vaccine study in patients with MS. Results indicate that patients with MS who were treated with certain disease-modifying drugs had a reduced response to the COVID-19 vaccines. This includes treatment with drugs that deplete the B-cells (ocrelizumab [Ocrevus] and rituximab [Rituxan]), and drugs that modulate sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor (fingolimod [Gilenya], siponimod [Mayzent], ozanimod [Zeposia] and ponesimod [Ponvory]).

The study is now determining how patients respond to the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Neuroscience Research Institute Brain Bank & Biorepository (NRI-BBB)

The goal of the NRI-BBB is to collect and store biospecimens like blood, spinal fluid and tissue from patients undergoing testing for clinical care.

When you see your doctor and undergo tests (such as blood and spinal tap tests) for the management of MS, you can participate in this study by providing an extra sample of blood or spinal fluid to be stored for future research.

These biosamples are essential in increasing our understanding of the disease process in MS and other disorders.

Aging in MS

This Ohio State research project is investigating biological aging in individuals with MS with the goal of determining if individuals with MS age differently from those who don’t have MS.

A person’s biological age is measured by various biomarkers that reflect the genetic and molecular changes accumulating over time that contribute to their age-related decline in function. The study will measure markers of biological aging from MS participants’ blood and compare them to those from people without MS and correlate the biomarkers with clinical and MRI outcomes pertinent to MS.

Currently recruiting participants with a current diagnosis of MS.

How research benefits you today — and others tomorrow

Because members of your medical team are immersed in research and education on a college campus – actually, one of the nation’s largest college campuses – we’re always engaged and informed about the latest MS treatments. Our status as an international leader in MS research means our patients are often able to try treatments well before they’re available anywhere else.

This may allow you to gain an edge against MS, and many patients also consider their research participation a real privilege because they’re simultaneously helping future generations.

Research can vary tremendously. We may simply ask to use your health history and unique experience with MS to improve our understanding of causes and risk factors of the disease or to lead to improvements in MS prevention, diagnosis and treatment. If you’re involved in a clinical trial, you might be among a select group of people offered a new medicine, therapy, medical device or other quality-of-life advantage that has already been thoroughly studied in a lab and tested for safety and effectiveness before it’s available to you.

Ready to explore the benefits of MS research?

If you’re interested in learning more, please ask any member of your care team for their perspective or contact us at 614-293-6123 or at msresearch@osumc.edu.

You can also continue exploring the list of active studies at Ohio State by typing “multiple sclerosis” (or any other condition) into the search box on the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center StudySearch page.

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