UCL Institute of Neurology





Queen Square Multiple Sclerosis Centre (QSMSC) Newsletter

Our NEWSLETTER gives an overview of the wide range of Clinical Research on MS which was carried out at the QSMSC during 2017. 



MS-STAT2 Simvastatin Trial

The Queen Square Multiple Sclerosis Centre is delighted to announce a new multimillion pound simvastatin trial to investigate if statins could become MS treatment.



The Centre unites all the research and care in MS at the Institute of Neurology in University College London (UCL), and the UCLH National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, in central London. The Centre also links the wide variety of MS research across the different sites of UCL.Our activities are broad and range from Laboratory Research into the mechanisms causing MS and developing new avenues for therapy, through Clinical Research and also Clinical Trials on novel medicines, to Clinical Services for MS patients.


MS Laboratory Research

MS Clinical Research

Image for clinical trials

MS Clinical Trials

MS Clinical Services

News from the Queen Square Multiple Sclerosis Centre


The Queen Square Multiple Sclerosis Centre is Delighted to Announce a Multi-Million Pound Trial to Investigate if Statins Could Become MS Treatment

A phase 3 trial involving more than 1,000 people with multiple sclerosis (MS) is to investigate whether simvastatin could become a treatment for the condition.

The project will cost almost £6 million and is being funded by collaboration between the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the MS Society (UK), the National MS Society (US), the NHS and UK universities.

The MS-STAT2 trial will test simvastatin, a cheap cholesterol lowering drug, in people with the secondary progressive form of MS. There are currently no licensed treatments that target disability progression in people with this type of MS.

MS Speed Presentations

The third “MS Speed Presentations” Meeting was held on 12th December 2016 at the UCL Institute of Neurology in Queen Square, organized by the Department of Neuroinflammation. There were 40 presentations by researchers and clinicians who have active research interests in MS. All the talks were ‘quick-fire’ presentations, with no introductions or questions, and each lasting a maximum of 4 minutes. It was a lively and interesting afternoon, followed by a reception for all attendees.

Presentations were on:

New MS imaging techniques: Quantitative MRI of brain and spine; quantitative measures of myelin; structural and quantitative spinal cord imaging; orientation and a new layer of complexity of MS pathology; periventricular abnormality gradient in early MS; image analysis; and pathological substrates of MRI.

Clinical studies: Clinical isolated syndrome; biomarkers of neuroprotection in SPMS; MRI early predictors from a 15 year CIS study; BRC initiative imaging; relapsing demyelinating syndromes in children; imaging signature of MS subtypes; and characterisation of the MS motor system in vivo using fMRI. Other talks included global and local connectivity measures in early MS; MS patients and risk; and longitudinal connectomics in MS.

Clinical trials and new therapies: Recruiting to large trials; evolving trial design in progressive MS: the MS-SMART trial;



DARC phase 2 in optic neuritis; antimitochondrial therapies through the eye; and MS spasticity phase II trial VSN16R.

Research on the eye: Correcting ATP and improving visual function; viewing brain through the retina; and antimitochondrial therapies through the eye.

Studies on disease processes:  Mitochondrial function and dynamics in axons; lesion topography in MS; TRPA1 studies; tissue banking for research studies; aryl hydrocarbon receptor and reducing neuroinflammation; hypoxia studies; hypoxia and oxygen as a therapy; microglia and IPSCs; comparing MS and small vessel disease; neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic brain injury studies; protein deimination in CNS damage; and the role of node strength in investigating MS pathology.

Gray Matter MRI Differentiates Multiple Sclerosis From Neuromyelitis Optica Using Random Forest

In a new study authored by Queen Square Multiple Sclerosis Centre researcher Dr. Arman Eshaghi, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of brain gray matter has been used to distinguish between patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optica (NMO). Random-forest classification, a powerful machine-learning technique which utilizes algorithms, was used to analyse MRI data collected in two countries. The study published in Neurology showed Class II evidence that grey matter imaging biomarker data automatically obtained from routine clinical scans can be used to distinguish NMO from MS.

Looking at brain networks may improve correlation between the ways disease progression is monitored in MS

From studies in the Queen Square Multiple Sclerosis Centre published in Neurology, correlation between the different ways disease progression is monitored in MS can be improved by looking at brain networks. Researchers led by UCLH Biomedical Research Centre (BRC)-supported Dr. Declan Chard developed a composite MRI-based measure of motor network integrity to determine if it could explain disability better than conventional MRI measures in people with MS.


ECTRIMS, the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, hosts the world’s largest annual international conference devoted to basic and clinical research in MS. At the 2016 Annual Ectrims Congress held in London in September Dr. Arman Eshaghi, a Queen Square Multiple Sclero Centre researcher, was a winner of the ECTRIMS Young Investigator Award 2016 for his study on ‘Imaging signature of multiple sclerosis phenotypes in grey matter’.


Researchers develop better understanding of MS pathological processes

Researchers in the Queen Square Multiple Sclerosis Centre have further developed their understanding of the pathological processes underlying MS in two related papers published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, and in Brain.




Follow QS MS Centre


The NEUROTRIALS DAY was held on 24th June 2015 at Queen Square for clinicians and health professional working on multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases.

The QUEEN SQUARE MS TEAM at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery held an open afternoon event to share and learn from each other on 27th May 2015.

The 5th UCL PARTNERS MS RESEARCH DAY was held on 14th June 2014 in London, UK.