Prediction of long-term disease outcomes in people with Multiple Sclerosis or Clinically Isolated Syndromes

Project Details

MS outcomes are highly variable amongst individuals, ranging from very mild, with no significant persistent disability, to very severe, and even fatal disease within a few years.  Therefore, one of the principal objectives in the care of people with MS is to prevent or reduce the accumulation of permanent neurological disability.  At present, the ability to predict a person’s likely MS outcome at first diagnosis is limited.  This relative inability to predict future disability outcomes is a great opportunity lost.  Better prediction could lead to a more individualised risk/benefit ratio evaluation for different therapies, and ultimately improve quality of life and productivity for patients with early MS.

This project aims to develop tools that help improve our understanding of factors that determine risk of developing irreversible neurological disability in people with MS, with a focus on clinical and paraclinical factors, pregnancy, demographics, treatment effects and environment.


  • Dr Vilija Jokubaitis, Project Leader
  • Mr Alvin Shae, Scholarly Selective Student 2016-2017


  • MSBase collaborators (117 MS centre in 35 countries)


  • NHMRC Project Grant [Grant ID 1032484]
  • NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence Grant [Grant ID 1001216].

Research Outcomes

  1. Jokubaitis VG, Spelman T, Kalincik T et al., Predictors of long-term disability accrual in relapse-onset multiple sclerosis. Ann Neurol. 2016 May 4. doi: 10.1002/ana.24682 [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Stewart T, Spelman T, Havrdova E et al., Contribution of different relapse phenotypes to disability in multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler. 2016 Apr 7. [Epub ahead of print]
  3. Kalincik T, Cutter G, Spelman T, Jokubaitis V et al., Defining reliable disability outcomes in multiple sclerosis. Brain. 2015; 138(11): 3287-98
  4. Jokubaitis VG, Spelman T, Kalincik T, et al., Predictors of disability worsening in clinically isolated syndrome. Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2015; 2(5): 479-91
  5. Kalincik T, Buzzard K, Jokubaitis V, et al., Risk of relapse phenotype recurrence in multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler. 2014; 20(11): 1511-22
  6. Jokubaitis VG, Li V, Kalincik T, et al., Fingolimod after natalizumab and the risk of short-term relapse. Neurology. 2014; 82(14): 1204-11

Research Publications

  1. Spelman T, Kalincik T, Jokubaitis V, et al., Comparative efficacy of first-line natalizumab vs IFN-beta or glatiramer acetate in relapsing MS. Neruol Clin Pract. 2016; 6(2): 102-15
  2. Warrender-Sparkes M, Spelman T, Izquierdo G, et al., The effect of oral immunomodulatory therapy on treatment uptake and persistence in multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler. 2016; 22(4): 520-32
  3. He A, Spelman T, Jokubaitis V, et al., Comparison of switch to fingolimod or interferon beta/glatiramer acetate in active multiple sclerosis. JAMA Neurol. 2015; 72(4): 405-13
  4. Kalincik, T, Horakova D, Spelman T, Jokubaitis V, et al., Switch to natalizumab versus fingolimod in active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Ann Neurol. 2015; 77(3): 425-35
  5. Kalincik T, Jokubaitis V, Izquierdo G, et al., Comparative effectiveness of glatiramer acetate and interferon beta formulations in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler. 2015; 21(9):1159-71

Research Group

MS Biology, Genomics and Prognostics Group

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Medicine and Radiology

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