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Diet and Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune, neurodegenerative condition, that affects almost 26,000 Australians. It is characterised by inflammatory demyelination, and neuronal degeneration. It is also associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, as target tissues, particularly neurons, struggle to keep up with the energy demands placed upon them by the loss of the myelin sheath. There is a large demand from the MS community to identify modifiable lifestyle factors that may alleviate or even improve the symptoms of MS. Diet and dietary modification is one such factor that has garnered a great deal of interest. However, currently we do not understand the typical dietary intake of people with MS. A number of diets have been proposed that may prove beneficial for people with MS such as the Swank, Wahls and Overcoming MS diets. To date, there have not been any controlled trials undertaken to test the impact of these or other dietary interventions on people with MS, or how these compare to the Australian Dietary Guidelines. This project aims to characterise the diets of people attending one of the largest Australian tertiary-referral MS outpatient clinics, at Alfred Health. To further measure the weight and body mass index of this cohort, and to associate this with MS disease outcomes. Here, you will administer food frequency questionnaires as well as obtain height and weight information from people attending the MS outpatient clinics at Alfred Health. This information will be analysed and synthesised into a comprehensive, cross-sectional report that will inform future investigations of diet in MS. Outcomes and impact: Characterisation of diet, weight and BMI in this cohort will be the first step towards informing future investigations and interventions in the MS space. Research Environment: The proposed project will be undertaken at Alfred Health, and linked to clinical data from the MSBase Registry, an international, observational, prospective MS cohort study.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
Multiple Sclerosis, diet, food, health, BMI, MS, neuroscience, neurology, neuroimmunology, clinical research, physiology, pharmacology, microbiology, anatomy, developmental biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, immunology, human pathology, clinical
Central Clinical School » Neuroscience
Available options 
Time commitment 
Physical location 
Alfred Centre
Neha Kaul
Assoc Prof 
Anneke van der Walt
Helmut Butzkueven

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