About the EPIC Study

EPIC (Expression, Proteomics, Imaging, Clinical) is an intensive observational study of over 500 people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) who have been carefully studied since 2004. EPIC employs the most advanced imaging, molecular, cellular and bioinformatics techniques to gain greater understanding of MS susceptibility and long-term progression.

Laboratory advancements have allowed us to expand our vision. Our MS dedicated MRI scanner has transformed our imaging capabilities, and for the first time we can visualize specific structures within the spinal cord affected by MS. In the laboratory, new assays and techniques are allowing us to process a greater variety of biological samples allowing us to understand specific MS antibodies found in cerebrospinal fluid. We are also conducting the first large-scale survey of the microbiome in MS. The more information collected, the richer will be our understanding of MS.

The New Chapter: The ORIGINS Study

Having achieved success in understanding the genetic architecture involved in MS susceptibility and characterizing long-term disability progression in patients treated with disease modifying therapies, are now focusing on finding the MS trigger. We believe that an, as yet unidentified, environmental factor triggers an immunological cascade in genetic susceptible individuals resulting in the clinical manifestations of MS. To find the trigger we need to assemble a large cohort of individuals who are presenting with MS symptoms for the first time. The EPIC study is actively recruiting anyone who recently has been diagnosed with MS or anyone who is suspected of having MS.

Specifically, we are reaching out to persons who have had a recent optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve), transverse or partial myelitis (inflammation of the spinal cord) or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain, brainstem or cerebellum). We are also recruiting individuals without symptoms who have had a recent brain MRI scan that is suggestive of MS.