Towards an understanding of Multiple Sclerosis (TUMS) 

Study code

Lead researcher
Professor Stephen Sawcer

Study type
Participant re-contact

Institution or company
University of Cambridge

Researcher type

Speciality area
Dementias and Neurodegeneration

Recruitment Site


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a common cause of neurological disability in young adults in the UK. Available evidence suggests that the disease is primarily autoimmune and over the past few years genome-wide association studies have begun to reveal the genetic architecture underlying susceptibility to the disease and have thereby generated renewed hope for the development of rational therapy. 

In a previous study of individuals from the Cambridge Bioresource we have shown that two of the 110 genetic variants known to be associated with MS influence the expression of co-stimulatory markers on the surface of class of specialised immune cells called naïve B cells. In this extension study we are aiming to test a third MS associated variant and a third co-stimulatory gene. Our data suggest that naive B cells may be especially important in the development of MS. 

Participation: For this study we recruited 110 participants from the Cambridge BioResource to give a 50ml blood sample. Study visits were run by the Cambridge BioResource.

Organisation: This study is organised by Professor Stephen Sawcer at the Cambridge Neuroscience department at the University of Cambridge.