Brain Sciences


IoN scientists run marathon to raise money for MS

15 June 2021

A dozen multiple sclerosis (MS) researchers collectively ran three marathons to raise money for charity at this year’s Edinburgh Marathon Festival (EMF).

three professors in a garden

Three teams of four researchers, from UCL, took on the Hairy Haggis Team Relay virtually on 30 May to raise funds for vital MS research across the UK.

The teams included twelve nurses, doctors and professors who have been working on trials that could lead to a greater range of treatment for people affected by MS.

Dr Tom Williams, a Clinical Research Fellow from UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology (IoN), one of the scientists who took part, said: “A few of us younger researchers keep quite fit, so we were very happy to get involved. We were most impressed by our older professors – who might not be used to running 10K!”

Dr Williams is currently working on the landmark MS-STAT2 trial and said the UK MS Society does a huge amount to fund this research – without them, much of it simply would not be possible which is why he decided to take part in the Edinburgh Marathon relay to raise money for the charity.

Dr Williams said: “Doing research well is expensive – there is no way of getting around this. For example, for the MS-STAT2 research study that many of us currently work on, almost 900 people with progressive MS are having detailed neurological assessments every six months for three years. Half of these people are randomly assigned to taking high dose simvastatin, and half are taking a placebo drug.

“Following everyone up like this for three years is a huge undertaking, requiring lots of specialist staff, equipment and funding – but it is the only way to be completely sure if the medication is helpful.”

“By the end of this study, we hope we will have developed a new treatment for everyone with progressive multiple sclerosis,” he said.