Multiple Sclerosis 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). The research program is directed by Dr. Leigh E. Charvet, and our center participates in studies focusing on relapsing-remitting, primary progressive, and secondary progressive MS.

The focus of actively recruiting studies includes microbiomes, observational outcomes, pharmaceutical-sponsored treatment trials, neurostimulation for symptomatic management, and neuroimaging studies.

If you are interested in participating in one of our studies, please call 646-501-7511 or email nyumsresearch@nyumc.org.

Research Topics

We perform research in the following areas.

Treating Multiple Sclerosis

Clinical trials currently being conducted at the MS Center are actively enrolling adult participants. Participation may involve testing new treatments, collection of samples, or observational studies. Participation is open to MS patients as well as people who do not have the condition.

These studies are being led by, Dr. Lauren Krupp, Dr. Ilya Kister, Dr. Lana Zhovtis Ryerson, Dr. Jonathan Howard, and Dr. Robert Charlson.

Understanding and Managing Cognitive Problems

We are studying ways to measure how MS may affect aspects of cognitive functioning, such as memory, focus, and attention span. We are studying new and advanced measures of cognitive involvement, and how it relates 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 treatment option to help in addressing the cognitive problems seen in MS. Studies have shown that cognitive training is safe and may work to restore cognitive and functional abilities.

These studies are being led by Dr. Charvet, Dr. Krupp, and Dr. Joshua Bacon.

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)

Transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS, is a form of neurostimulation where very low levels of electrical current are delivered through a headset to stimulate targeted brain areas. Due to its mild current, tDCS is very safe and well-tolerated, while still offering the opportunity for neuromodulatory benefits.

Hundreds of studies have shown tDCS to be helpful in treating symptoms such as depression, pain, fatigue, cognitive impairment, and motor problems. We are studying ways that this treatment can be most effectively used to help those with living with MS and other neurological disorders.

These studies are being led by Dr. Charvet.

Pediatric MS

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 (NMO)

NYU Langone’s Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care Center is devoted to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of neuromyelitis optica (NMO). It is a rare spectrum disease of the central nervous system that usually affects the optic nerves, the 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.

NYU Langone’s NMO Center will host a patient day on October 30, 2016.

Opportunities for Healthy Controls

Comparable information on cognitive functioning in healthy children and adults helps researchers to draw valuable conclusions about disease progression and cognitive decline in MS. Healthy volunteers are needed as controls for cognitive testing, which include computerized, verbal, and pen and paper tests that provide comparison for information collected in MS study participants.

These studies are being directed by Dr. Charvet.