Target brain disease(s): Multiple Sclerosis (MS & Autoimmune Disease)
Project goal: Discover new methods to measure and investigate the cause of fatigue, a common and disabling symptom in multiple sclerosis (MS).
Project description: Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system in which inflammatory cells attack the nervous system and injure the fatty layers around nerve fibers often resulting in permanent injury. Over time, MS patients can lose brain cells and nerve fibers, leading to loss of motor function and loss of sensation, as well as visual complaints and fatigue. Like the brain, the back layer of the eye, or the retina, has been shown to lose cells and nerve fibers in MS. This research hoped to discover new methods to measure and investigate the cause of fatigue in MS patients by measuring the thickness of the part of the retina containing nerve cells and fibers using optic coherence tomography. Dr. Chahin hopes to shed further light on the causes of this disabling symptom, lead to more accurate measurements of fatigue, and identify better, more targeted treatment options for fatigue in MS patients.
Funding: Received $130,000 in research funds.