Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory neurodegenerative disorder mainly affecting young adults. The cause of the disorder is unknown and the disease course is heterogeneous.
Several lines of evidence point to a dysfunction of astrocytes. The role of astrocytes in MS is investigated in in vitro systems, mouse models, and and neuroimaging studies in patients with MS. Findings are further evaluated in proof-of-concept studies, which may lead to clinical trials with new therapeutic approaches.
By investigating factors that influence the course of the disease we hope to find
clues of new mechanisms that may protect MS patients against new lesion formation and the axonal degeneration responsible for the progressive phase. A current area of interest is the role of the gut microbioma and the autonomic nervous system in MS. This research project, funded by Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO) Vlaanderen, investigates the gut microbiome in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in relation to clinical heterogeneity and disease activity. People with MS at Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel and Nationaal MS Centrum Melsbroek are invited to participate. For information, please contact Ann Van Remoortel (email@example.com).
A third line of research involves the mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction in MS (part of the research theme “Cognition and modelling“), including aspects of perceived cognitive dysfunction.
Digital health services have the potential to improve access to medical care in a time- and cost-efficient manner. Our current projects focus on feasibility of internet-based teleconsultation, the potential of telerehabilitation strategies and big data collection feeding automated predictive modelling (machine learning).