Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Research

The St George’s MS Research Team has been in existence for over 20 years both at Atkinson Morley Hospital, Wimbledon and now at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.

Dr David Barnes has led trials of potential new MS treatments for this period working with a core team of supporting staff to provide patients access to research within a safe environment.

The team has been involved in a number of studies involving novel treatments, and many of these treatments have gone on to be successfully licensed and available to patients through the NHS.
Our team is regularly selected by companies within the pharmaceutical industry to assist in gathering important data from our MS population for researching and validating potential future treatment for MS.

Most of the studies include blood sampling, Neurology examinations, timed walking assessments, relapse assessment, questionnaires and some include MRIs as a standard part of the protocol. Some studies may include a placebo (dummy dose) which may be given to some patients for a period of time to help to prove the benefits of the new treatment being studied.

MS research can require frequent visits to St George’s Hospital and these visits normally occur on a Tuesday. Sometimes travel costs can be met or a contribution made.
Comments from a patient survey:

“Felt very supported all the way through”
“There is no doubt that this was a big time commitment for me”
A few facts about MS

• More than 100,000 people in the UK have multiple sclerosis (MS)
• More women than men are diagnosed with MS
• Multiple sclerosis is not inherited, but family members do have a slightly higher risk of developing MS
• MS is usually diagnosed when people are in their 20s and 30s
• MS is a disease affecting the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord)
• Symptoms can come and go and can vary greatly in terms of severity
• There may be periods of relapse of varying length and severity
• At present, there is no cure for MS but this certainly doesn’t mean that the symptoms of MS cannot be treated.


Comments from a patient survey:

“Everyone was kind and professional”

“Always available at the end of a phone or email to answer queries”

“Over the course of 4 years they became like family/friends and always demonstrated the highest level of care”

Patient referrals are normally made by a Neurologist or MS Nurse as a detailed history will be required with supporting documentation, if the patient is eligible for inclusion.
Discussion about current studies or adding patient names to our database can be done via the MS Study Coordinator or Research Nurse on 0208 725 4631/4162 or email at


Useful sources of information
The following groups offer information and support to people with MS and sponsor some research into new treatments and therapies

MS Trust 01462 476700 or freephone 0800 032 38 39
Visit their website at

MS Society 0808 800 8000
Visit their website at

The Sutton and Croydon
MS Therapy Centre 0208 660 1181
Visit their website at

The following website contains a list of all registered research studies being conducted throughout the world. This website includes a helpful search functionality to allow you to select studies of interest of registered studies in 190 countries including the UK.