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MS in Asian and Afro-Caribbean patients in the UK

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Defining the Characteristics of Multiple Sclerosis in Asian and Afro-Caribbean Patients in the UK. (MSAAUK)



  • Contact name

    Gordon Mazibrada

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    1 years, 6 months, 5 days

  • Research summary

    Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a progressive autoimmune and degenerative condition that affects the central nervous system; overtime this can result in severe disability and death. It is the most common chronic neurological disorder to affect young adults in the UK. Currently there is no known cause for MS, however genetic and environmental factors have been implicated and as of yet there is no known cure.
    MS is more common in Caucasian populations, however Asian or Afro-Caribbean patients who are born in high risk countries, such as the UK, have been found to have the same risk of developing MS as the native Caucasian population. Studies have demonstrated that Asian and African-American patients have clinically more severe MS that progresses faster than their Caucasian counterparts. There is limited data available. Even fewer studies have looked at Asian patients, they have also demonstrated this cohort to accumulate greater disability. These studies suggest that MS behaves differently depending on race.
    Genetic analysis in Europeans has been quite extensive. There has been some study into the genetics of Asian and Afro-Caribbean patients which have identified a few genes. Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of MS. The majority of this data has been collected from Caucasian populations. It is unclear whether the same EBV association exists with Asian and Afro-Caribbean MS patients.
    This study aims to create a greater understanding of the pathogenesis of MS in Asian and Afro-Caribbean populations. We will be studying the prevalence of genes associated with Asian and AC MS patients and EBV serology and inflammatory cell profiles. Secondary aims include correlating genetics and EBV serology findings to brain atrophy measurements clinical characteristics, disease course and response to disease modifying therapy of MS patients in order to understand the natural history and to compare this to a cohort of matched Caucasian patients.

  • REC name

    North East - Tyne & Wear South Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    11 Nov 2016

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion