Research Ideas

These research questions have been driven by iConquerMS participants as part of the Our Questions Have Power program. iConquerMS participants can vote or comment on the questions they most want to see answered by research.

Please use the Category, Stage, Priority and Sort by filters to find the questions that are of most interest to you and vote or comment on those questions. Your votes and comments will determine the priorities for advancing the questions to co-created studies with MS researchers.

To vote on a question, first make sure you LOGIN to your iConquerMS account or JOIN iConquerMS then LOGIN. Then click the “Vote & Comment” button on the question and answer these questions: .

  • Do you agree that answering this question should be a high priority?.
  • Would the results of research on this question be helpful to you? .
  • Would you be interested in participating in research on this question?

You can also make a comment about any question. You can vote on as many questions as you like. Be sure to visit iConquerMS periodically so you can vote and comment on new questions that are submitted.

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    Can specific ingredients cause MS symptoms to worsen?

    For instance, consuming wheat or sugar can create spasms for me.
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    Can anxiety be directly related to MS lesions?

    I have extreme anxiety. One neurologist, mine, said it is because I developed 2 lesions in the mood part of my brain. It came on suddenly and hasn't subsided. When using a forum, a neurologist told me this wasn't possible. I'd like to know if there is a study or relation with lesions causing (severe) anxiety.
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    Can high doses of vitamin D3 (for example, the doses used in the Coimbra protocol) bring about a remission of MS symptoms?

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    How does menopause affect the symptoms of MS? Can symptoms worsen due to menopause/hormonal changes regardless of disease progression?

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    Does mental overload lead to worsening of MS symptoms such as pain and difficulty walking, and if so, what causes this to happen?

    I've noticed that if I am getting mentally drained (even talking with someone for a length of time, say an hour...or that particular person is talking a mile a minute, I get emotionally drained) in which afterward my MS symptoms are off the charts! The ability to walk normally, the pain level is super high, I can't think, my emotions are all over the place (I even cry). I can't be the only one going through this. The more my brain is overloaded the worse I am. This could take as little as 40 mins to 2 hours and then I'm DONE!
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    Does a person with MS have a greater chance of also having Narcolepsy (with/without Cataplexy)?

    I not only have PPMS but also narcolepsy with cataplexy and what started out as Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea that has gone onto Complex Sleep Apnea (I needed to have a trach tube put in in 2005 that is still in place and will never be removed). While researching all three diseases I found out they are all autoimmune diseases. Besides these I have Fibromyalgia and about 29 or 30 other diagnoses. Some due to the MS but many due to family history and living on a fixed income my whole adult life and not being able to buy the right foods to keep my weight down (and not being able to exercise well). It seems to me that these three diseases must somehow be "related" or affected by each other.
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    Is mental health therapy being recommended as a course of therapy for M.S. since M.S. patients have the highest rate of depression and other cognitive issues?

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    Could reactivation of the Epstein Barr virus make MS symptoms worse? Could this not be easily answered?

    Antivirals could be developed to affect the EBV and used for relapses or progression.
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    For those taking a B-cell depletion medication such as Ocrevus, are they achieving better results in managing their MS symptoms and slowing progression by combining it with an intermittent-fasting (IF) dietary regiment?

    It has been shown in studies that the microbiome (gut bacteria) is different compared to a normal individual for those patients diagnosed with MS. Can following an intermittent-fasting (IF) dietary regiment where an individual fasts three days per week combined with b-cell depletion such as Ocrevus slow progression of MS even further than b-cell depletion only.
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    Is there a correlation or association between MS and Vocal Chord Dysfunction (VCD)?

    I have MS and have also had VCD for the last 6 years. My constant breathing difficulty (choking sensation) with the VCD is much worse than my extremely bad MS. I have tried speech pathology and Botox injections to no avail and wonder whether this is happening due to my lesion in my brain stem.
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    Does night-discomfort or night-stiffness, that may or may not cause you to wake up, increase your core body temperature during that time period?

    Note: This is not a menopausal hot-flash or night-sweatting, UTI, flu, or other current medication side-effect.
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    Why do some people develop speech symptoms as their disease progresses such as stuttering, slurring, and dysarthria?

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    Regarding varying levels of numbness during intercourse for people with MS; What can be done to increase sensations during sexual activity? Are there programs that focus on the mental experience during sex to circumvent the lack of physical feeling?

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    When diagnosed with more than one autoimmune disease, what are some ways to distinguish the roots of the symptoms and how to manage them appropriately?

    MS symptoms are often similar to other autoimmune disease symptoms as well as medication side effects. At times it is very difficult to distinguish why a symptom is caused, for example fatigue when having MS, Connected Tissue Disease, Hashimoto's, Depression, and taking Alendronate (Risedronate) for Osteoporosis. The preface of my proposed question is, does it matter what causes it? If it does, how to you deal with the cause and if it continues more than 'normal', what are the best approaches to handle it and who should you reach out to?
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    Different people have different symptoms and react differently to different medications. I propose a study to see if different physical therapy (PT) regimens may be more effective that others. For instance, land-based PT, vs pool-based, and even Yoga?

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    Why does there seem to be little research and treatment options for dizzyness/lightheaded feelings?

    This is one of my most irritating symptoms and it gets worse the longer I am active. Vertigo medication only seems to help a little if it is very bad. What are the best treatment/management options for dizziness/lightheadedness?
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    What can people with MS following specific diets expect in terms of fatigue improvement, and is this affected by personal characteristics, like age, disability level, or initial fatigue level? Can combining diet with exercise help reduce fatigue further?

    A number of research studies have shown that specific diets or exercise can improve fatigue in people with MS. More evidence is needed that can help to personalize the treatment of fatigue in MS.
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    Do people with MS on baclofen experience fatigue worse than those who are not on baclofen? Do people with MS on baclofen experience fatigue worse than people using baclofen for non-MS conditions?

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    What are the best strategies for preventing falls in people with MS based on specific causes, such as dizziness or weakness? Are combinations of some strategies more effective than single strategies alone?

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    Are the frequencies and characteristics of “MS Hug” different for people with MS (PwMS) of different characteristics, such as age, sex or disability level? Are some MS Hug treatments more effective than others in specific PwMS?

    I'd also like to know if combinations of treatments are more effective than any single treatment for MS Hug.
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