MS research update webinars

Our MS research updates are part of our MS Education programs. They provide an opportunity to hear from MS researchers, they do not address individual circumstances or provide strategies.
MS Research Australia and MS co-hosted a series of MS Researcher Update webinars

Find out more about upcoming MS research updates in our MS Education section.

Exercise and the Impact for Advanced Multiple Sclerosis

Exercise and an active lifestyle are beneficial for everyone. However, due to paralysis and fatigue, people living with advanced multiple sclerosis have restricted exercise options and find it difficult to exercise effectively. This presentation looks at the exercise options that are available for people living with advanced multiple sclerosis and specifically how Electrical Stimulation (ES) technology might be used to exercise the lower limbs, build muscle, and enhance the intensity of aerobic exercise in people living with advanced multiple sclerosis. Recommendations will be based on Dr Che Fornusek's findings from his recent MSRA funded studies. (Recorded 11 December 2019)


Webinar Handouts: Exercise and the impact for Advanced Multiple Sclerosis

The Role of Diet on Cognition in Multiple Sclerosis

This webinar is presented by Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist and researcher Dr Heather Francis. Dr Francis will present her research which includes investigating the effects of nutrition on brain function and factors related to cognitive fatigue in people living with multiple sclerosis. (Recorded 15 August 2019)

Note: due to technical issues on the day of recording, the audio cuts out briefly in a couple of places however the video is not affected. Please refer to the handouts for more information.
Webinar handouts: The Role of Diet on Cognition in Multiple Sclerosis

Gut Bacteria and Multiple Sclerosis

Dr Wolfgang Marx is a researcher based a Deakin University. He will update us on the progress of his research into the effect of gut bacteria on symptoms and progression of multiple sclerosis.

Recorded 26 July 2019
Webinar handouts: Gut Bacteria and Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis & Heat Intolerance - Research Findings 

Dr Ollie Jay provides an update on the progress of his research into heat intolerance experienced by people living with multiple sclerosis. 

Recorded 5 March 2019
Webinar Handouts: MS and Heat Intolerance - Research Findings

Research Update - Cannabinoid Therapeutics Webinar 

Presented by Professor Ian McGregor from the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics. This webinar provides information on cannabinoid products in the context of multiple sclerosis. Providing participants with up to date information on things like what are cannabinoids, the side effects and prescription information. 

Recorded December 2019
Webinar Handouts: Medicinal Cannabis and Multiple Sclerosis - What does it all mean for me?
Guidance Use - Medicinal Cannabis Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

Research Update - Footwear interventions to improve mobility and balance for people with multiple sclerosis

Dr Anna Hatton from the University of Queensland looks at foot risk factors for falls, loss of balance and impaired mobility. Anna discusses current research exploring novel footwear devices to improve balance and mobility.

Recorded October 2017
Webinar Handouts: Research Update article 

Autologous Haematopoietic Stem Cell Therapy

Associate Professor Dr John Moore from St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney presents on this interesting subject. Dr John Moore is a haematologist specialising in stem cell treatments. 

Recorded August 2017

MRI Brain Volumetrics in MS

Presenter Dr Heidi Beadnall

In multiple sclerosis populations, it has been found that brain volumes and the rate of brain shrinkage (brain atrophy) correlate with physical disability and cognitive problems. Specialised computer software allows brain volumes and atrophy to be measured non-invasively from MRI scans. These techniques have been used widely in MS research and clinical trials, but are not used in routine clinical practice. My area of research interest is based around translating these MRI volumetric technologies into real-world MS practice. It is thought that these techniques may be able to be used in individual patients with MS, to help prognosticate early in disease and monitor the response to therapy

Recorded 15 November 2016
Webinar Handouts : MRI Brain Volumetrics in MS


Retaining Employment

Dr Diana Dorstyn and PhD student Rebecca Haub will present a webinar speaking about their recent work developing an online program for training employment skills in working-age adults with MS.
The researchers are currently undertaking a clinical trial to test the benefits of this program for promoting knowledge and skills that may help with MS to obtain or retain employment, with career development, in addition to enhancing mental health.

Recorded May 2016
Download slides

A randomised controlled trial of a tailored cognitive behavioural therapy based intervention for depression in those newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis

Presenter: Dr Litza Kiropoulos.

Dr Litza Kiropoulos is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne. This is a joint position with the Royal Melbourne Hospital where she is also a Senior Clinical Psychologist.

Dr Kiropoulos's research interests include assessing the relationships between mental and physical health, the implementation and evaluation of psychological interventions for depressive and anxiety disorders and psychological adjustment in patients with medical illnesses including multiple sclerosis. She is also interested in investigating the comparative efficacy and effectiveness of psychological treatments and new modes of treatment delivery, e.g, e-health. 

Recorded November 2015
Download the slides

Transforming the Australian MS longitudinal study: adding value to a beautiful resource

Presenter: Associate Professor Ingrid Van Der Mei.

The presentation will cover the past and the future of the Australian MS Longitudinal Study (AMSLS). It will highlight achievements and outline the new directions that will be added to the AMSLS. Most importantly, the presentation is seeking active feedback from you during the presentation on an ambitious project called the “MS Portal”. This project will put MS research participants in charge of their information by allowing them to control which data they would like to connect. It is hoped that an MS Portal will improve patient care and quality of life, improve services, and expand research opportunities. 

Recorded June 2015
Download the slides

Research into cognition and cognitive training in multiple sclerosis

Presenter: Professor John DeLuca & Dr Cynthia Honan.

Professor John Deluca

It was not so long ago that medical professionals did not believe that cognitive impairment was a symptom of multiple sclerosis. However, we now know that up to 70% of persons with multiple sclerosis experience cognitive impairment, which can have a significant impact on everyday functional activity. Dr. John DeLuca will discuss the nature of cognitive impairment and its impact on everyday life, and discuss recent research on cognitive rehabilitation.

Dr Cynthia Honan

The diagnosis of MS often occurs at time when a person is at the peak of their working career.Dr Cynthia Honan will speak about her research looking at the unique challenges faced by people with MS in the workplace, and what difficulties are most associated with work withdrawal. Dr Honan will also discuss the results of her most recent research looking at the interaction between a person’s perceptions of their cognitive difficulties, their actual cognitive difficulties, and levels of depression; and how these three factors influence work outcomes.

MS research update webinar - Professor John DeLuca & Dr Cynthia Honan

Professor John DeLuca is the senior vice president for research at the Kessier Foundation in the USA. He is also a Professor in Neuroscience at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Cynthia Honan is a neuropsychologist and early career researcher from the University of NSW. (Recorded July 2015).

Factors related to psychological adjustment among people with multiple sclerosis

Presenter: Professor Marita McCabe.

This presentation examines the nature of a person’s coping and psychosocial adjustment to multiple sclerosis. It explores the types of coping strategies that are most likely to be associated with successful adjustment. The session also discusses the impact of multiple sclerosis on relationships and sexuality. Finally, the types of activities and attitudes adopted by people who show better adjustment to multiple sclerosis will be discussed. (Recorded April 2015).

Download the slides


MS Researcher Update - Dr Kenneth Pakenham

Using acceptance and mindfulness to enhance resilience in people living with MS and their carers. (Recorded November 2014).

Download the slides

MS Researcher Update - Dr Suzi Claflin

Measuring and understanding multiple sclerosis progression
Dr Suzi Claflin is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Tasmania. Dr Claflin's studies include the long-term effects of disease modifying therapies and the impact of complimentary and alternative medicines on MS health outcomes.
In this presentation, Dr Claflin will discuss how MS disease progression is measured, the risk factors and what interventions affect MS disease progression. 
(Recorded 22 May 2018)

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