Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care Center Research
Research is a central part of our mission at NYU Langone’s Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care Center. We are dedicated to advancing the understanding and treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), with the goal of one day finding a cure.
Our center participates in studies focusing on relapsing–remitting, primary progressive, and secondary progressive MS. Actively recruiting studies focus on microbiomes, observational outcomes, industry-sponsored treatment trials, neurostimulation for symptomatic management, and neuroimaging.
Multiple Sclerosis Research Topics
Our experts perform research in the following areas.
Advancing Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis
Our team is actively researching better treatments for people with MS. These studies are being led by Lauren B. Krupp, MD; Ilya Kister, MD; Lana Zhovtis Ryerson, MD; Jonathan E. Howard, MD; and Robert W. Charlson, MD.
Understanding and Managing Cognitive Problems
We study ways to measure how MS may affect aspects of cognitive functioning, such as memory, focus, and attention span. This includes new and advanced measures of cognitive involvement, and its relationship to different features of MS. Using MRI, we can better understand how the MS disease process causes cognitive impairment.
In addition, we are investigating treatments such as computerized cognitive training as a promising option to help address the cognitive problems seen in MS. Studies show that cognitive training is safe and may work to restore cognitive and functional abilities.
These studies are led by Dr. Charvet, Dr. Krupp, and Joshua H. Bacon, PhD.
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a form of neurostimulation in which very low levels of electrical current are passed through scalp electrodes, delivered through a small portable device and headset. This mild current means tDCS is very safe and well-tolerated, while still offering potential neuromodulatory benefits.
Although tDCS is still considered an experimental therapy, hundreds of studies have shown that it may be helpful in treating symptoms such as depression, pain, fatigue, cognitive impairment, and motor problems. Our research focuses on ways that this treatment may be most effectively used to help those living with MS and other neurological disorders, including potentially accessing tDCS from home.
These studies are being led by Dr. Charvet.
Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Research
When MS begins before the age of 18, it is referred to as pediatric MS. NYU Langone’s Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center is part of a national network of centers dedicated to better understanding how MS affects children and adolescents. Ongoing studies include measurement of symptoms and risk factors such as genes and environment as well as cognitive studies.
These studies are being led by Dr. Krupp and Dr. Charvet.
Neuromyelitis Optica Research
Experts at the Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care Center diagnose, treat, and manage neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a rare spectrum disease of the central nervous system that usually affects the optic nerves, spinal cord, or both. Ongoing research includes data and sample repository studies, as well as an experimental drug study.
These studies are being led by Dr. Kister.
Novel Dosing Regimens
Ongoing research has shown that extending the dosing regimen of natalizumab from every 4 weeks to every 5 to 12 weeks can significantly reduce the risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare but potentially fatal brain infection. The findings from current studies and continued research could influence how neurologists prescribe the medication. Current prospective studies are evaluating the efficacy of this extended dosing regimen.
These studies are being led by Dr. Zhovtis Reyerson.
Research Opportunities for Healthy Controls
Gathering comparable information on cognitive functioning in healthy children and adults helps researchers draw valuable conclusions about how a disease like MS progresses. This is why we seek healthy volunteers to be controls for cognitive testing, which includes computerized, verbal, and pen-and-paper tests. We then compare that with information collected from study participants who have MS. We are also looking for healthy volunteers to help us understand neuromodulation therapies through neuroimaging studies.
These studies are being led by Dr. Charvet.