Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a degenerative disease of the brain and spinal cord. Every day, 3 more Canadians are diagnosed with this progressive disorder with no cure. My group’s research goals are to investigate possible underlying factors driving disease progression – from genes to the environment. A core component of this program focuses on bringing together, for the first time, multiple large health databases created for over two decades by physicians, pharmacists and allied healthcare professionals. Whether current MS drugs have any long-term beneficial or even harmful effects are, and have been examined. We also have an active ‘Gut microbiota and MS’ research component funded by the MS Scientific and Research Foundation and CIHR’s Drug Safety and Effectiveness program. We currently have collated the world’s largest stool bank in paediatric MS and unaffected controls, along with a wealth of clinical and lifestyle information, and involving 23 sites across Canada and the USA. We are also exploring the gut microbiota in adults with MS in relation to drug treatments. Ultimately, we aim to improve the health, treatment options and outcome for people and families living with MS.
Helen is currently a professor at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver in the Brain Research Centre and Faculty of Medicine, Division of Neurology and the Canada Research Chair in Neuroepidemiology and Multiple Sclerosis. Also holds operating grants from CIHR, the MS Society of Canada, Canada Foundation for Innovation, the US National MS Society and the UK MS Trust, among others. Trained in pharmacoepidemiology/ multiple sclerosis with a PhD from Cardiff University, UK. Heads the ‘Pharmacoepidemiology in MS (PiMS) Research group.’ Research interests include: the natural history of MS; prognosis and predictors of disease progression in MS; mortality; effectiveness of the immunomodulatory drugs (IMDs) for MS; adverse effects of the MS IMDs; pharmacogenomics; MS epidemiology; incidence and prevalence of MS; life expectancy in MS; comorbidities and MS; pregnancy and MS; impact of parental MS on childhood developmental outcomes; the gut microbiome and MS.
Over 120 peer-reviewed papers, view via Pubmed: http://1.usa.gov/1rY0g4W