MSA Trust

Open MSA Studies

Use the tabs to find out more about each research study.

You can also search for open studies on the NIHR website

Google are looking to improve how well speech recognition systems (like Alexa or your mobile phone voice recognition) understand people with speech problems.

Taking part involves recording yourself reading lists of words and phrases at home. A professional speech and language therapist will support you with this, and they offer a £50 gift voucher. Download the advert below for more details.

If you would like to find out more, email or follow this link and someone will get in touch with you with more information.

A new study of Exenatide in MSA is now open and seeking people with MSA to participate.

Exenatide is a drug used to treat diabetes and has shown potential benefit to people with Parkinson’s Disease in previous studies. The open label, randomised controlled trial, coordinated by Professors Foltynie, Houlden, Morris and Dr. Chelban will be carried out at The National Hospital for Neurology in London. People from any location can be considered for the trial if they meet the inclusion criteria and are able to travel for the study visits.

In the first instance, contact your MSA Nurse Specialist for an informal chat, or Christine Girges on the Exenatide Research Team can be contacted via email for more information and an informal discussion. If suitable, people wishing to be considered can then ask their doctor to refer them for a one-off clinical assessment in the MSA clinic at Queens Square, via email to

Below are useful links to find out more:

Exenatide Once-weekly as a Treatment for Multiple System Atrophy – Full Text View –

Find out more about the very promising Exanatide Trial backed by MSA – Multiple System Atrophy Trust (

Researchers begin trial of drug to slow progression of neurodegenerative condition Multiple System Atrophy | UCLH Biomedical Research Centre (

This study is looking for people with MSA to participate, with the aim to improve the accuracy of early diagnosis and track disease progression.

There are two elements to this, a longitudinal study based at specific clinics in London, Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Brighton, Newport and Newcastle – which have a strong history of supporting people with MSA. There is also an option to take part in a cross-sectional study where patients can participate from anywhere in the UK or at one of 28 UK based research centres.

The longitudinal study involves several clinical and biomarker assessments over a three year period which include: a detailed neurology review, cognitive function tests, brain scans and blood samples. This will be followed by a ‘lighter touch’ follow up over the phone or during a clinic visit for a further two years.

The cross-sectional study involves donating a one-off blood sample at your local GP or hospital, together with filling in questionnaires at home.

We would like to include people with MSA and people unaffected by neurological diseases. Since we are investigating MSA genetics, blood relatives of those affected by MSA are not eligible for the study.

Ultimately, it is hoped that the research will aid the development of new and improved treatments for MSA and raise the profile of MSA research in the UK.

If you are interested in participating in MSA research, please contact Alyssa Costantini, Research Associate, institute of Neurology, UCL – or ABN MSA Research Fellow, Viorica Chelban, UCL,

Open MSA Studies

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The Neurodegeneration Imaging Group, at the University of Exeter, is recruiting for a new study on Multiple System Atrophy.

Short study Title: Synaptic loss in Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)

Who: We are looking for patients diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA-P) aged 45-70, who are willing and able to participate in a research study sponsored by the University of Exeter.

What: The study consists of the following procedures which will be performed over four (4) visits at baseline which will be repeated in another four (4) visits after approximately one year:

  • Clinical assessments;
  • Brain imaging scans with PET and MRI;
  • Blood sample collection;
  • Lumbar puncture (optional)

The research will take place in West London, at the Hammersmith Hospital Campus.

If you decide to take part we will provide taxi transport and refreshments. You will be compensated over the course of the study for your participation.

One type of imaging requires the injection of a small amount of a radioactive agent. Full details of what the study involves are explained in a Participant Information Sheet

Why: Our aim is to help understand if synapses and glucose levels within the brain of patients with MSA are altered during the disease and what role these changes could have to clinical symptoms. Our findings will provide a deeper understanding of the brain changes specific for the disease, which will help us track the progression of MSA. More importantly, this study will help with the discovery and development of new medications aiming to delay the progression of symptoms caused by MSA.

The study is conducted by the Neurodegeneration Imaging Group, lead by Professor Marios Politis (Principal Investigator), and sponsored by the University of Exeter. The work carried out by the Neurodegeneration Imaging Group aims to investigate the causes of neurological diseases and identify new targets for treatments.

If interested and would like more information, please see the information sheets below or please email us at:

or call the study doctor

Dr Edoardo de Natale: 07503741242

What is brain donation?

Brain donation is a process that allows people with (and without) neurological conditions to choose to donate their brain in the future, to be used in relevant research studies.

Researchers study brain tissue of people with neurological conditions in order to better understand conditions such as MSA. The aim of such research is to provide insights that allow us to better understand the cause of MSA, which contributes to the development of treatments and furthers the cause to find a cure.

This MSA Trust factsheet explains Brain Donation in more detail.

Find out more about the Queens Square Brain Bank and the donation process here.


Open MSA Studies

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Open MSA Studies

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