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Mendelian Randomisation studies in Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune, neurodegenerative condition, is the most common cause of non-traumatic neurological disability in young adults, with a typical age of onset between 20-40 years of age. Epidemiological studies in MS have provided mounting evidence that both disease risk and disease outcomes in MS likely involve the interplay between genetic factors and the environment. However, association of risk factors and prognositic factors does not equal causation. Mendelian Randomisation is a biostatistical method that allows us to test whether described associations with disease may actaually be causative, using genetic variation as a proxy for a modifiable environmental exposure. In this project you will learn about various environmental factors that are thought to influence MS risk, or progression, and to perform a mendelian randomisation to determine whether your chosen risk factor does have a direct causal link to MS. This project will suit a student with a strong genetic, biostatistics or bioinformatics interest. Outcomes and impact: Identification of factors that directly influence MS risk or prognosis have the potential to inform clinical management of patients with MS. Research Environment: The proposed project will be undertaken at the Alfred Centre, combining genetic data with clinical data from the MSBase Registry, an international, observational, prospective MS cohort study and/or the UK Biobank - depending on the factor investigated.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
Multiple Sclerosis, Mendelian Randomisation, Genetics, Biostatistics, prognostic modelling, neurology, real world data, neuroscience
Central Clinical School » Neuroscience
Available options 
Time commitment 
Physical location 
Alfred Centre
Jim Stankovich

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