With a strong clinical focus on developing new methods for early diagnosis and treatment of peripheral neuropathy, the Neuromuscular Disease and Multiple Sclerosis Research Group is committed to improving patient outcomes for this disabling condition which causes weakness and loss of sensation.

Our goals

We have a specific interest in peripheral neuropathy that occurs in the context of diseases of high global prevalence including diabetes, kidney failure, obesity and cancer. Our research is patient focused and interdisciplinary. We have a diverse range of expertise in areas such as neurology, neurophysiology, vision science, metabolic medicine and mathematical modelling.

Our novel multidisciplinary program of research in multiple sclerosis (MS), focuses on exploring the basis of common MS symptoms such as vision changes, fatigue and sleep disturbance. We have recently commenced studies to develop new ways of monitoring inflammation in MS patients,  analysing the impact of disease modifying treatments through confocal imaging of the cornea in people with MS and analysis of neuropeptide levels in the tear film.

Our vision science programme has recently expanded to migraine, focusing on ocular surface changes. In the world, migraine is the eighth leading cause of disability years lost, and the leading cause of disability days lost among people under 50. The crosstalk between migraine processes and those affecting the ocular surface is not well understood, but physiological pathways may overlap. To better monitor and manage chronic migraine, we aim to expand our understanding of the connection between ocular surface disease and migraine.

Research strengths

  • Neurophysiology and nerve excitability assessment.
  • Corneal confocal microscopy and tear neuropeptide assays.
  • Peripheral nerve ultrasound

Our results

  • Clinical trial demonstrating a neuroprotective effect of dietary potassium restriction in kidney disease.
  • Discovery of diagnostic role of nerve ultrasound in diabetic neuropathy.
  • Clinical trial demonstrating benefit of potassium channel blockers on walking distance in multiple sclerosis.
  • Clinical study demonstrating that diabetic neuropathy can influence both the corneal nerves and the neuropeptides they release into the tear film.
  • Clinical study demonstrating that the neurotoxic effects of chemotherapeutic drugs are also evident in the cornea and tear film.

Our experts

 Arun Krishnan
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Associate Professor & Director of Learning and Teaching Maria Markoulli
Associate Professor & Director of Learning and Teaching
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