Irish Research Breakthrough

Research funded by MS Ireland sheds light on secondary progressive MS

MS Ireland is delighted to announce results of a research project part funded by the Society which has discovered a possible connection between the signally pathway in the brain and the grey matter lesions that characterise MS. 

The findings come from a research team in the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Science, NUI Galway, led by neuroscientist Dr Una FitzGerald and carried out by Dr. Jill McMahon, in collaboration with Dr Stephen McQuaid from Queen’s University Belfast. The research project “Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress as a component of neurodegeneration in MS grey matter lesions”, is one of only two research projects in the world examining the role of ER stress in grey matter lesions in MS.

The Irish research shows that lesions formed in the grey matter of the brain might be associated with a signalling pathway called endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Higher levels of ER stress were discovered in lesioned areas in the grey matter of the brain in those with secondary progressive MS. MS is characterised by lesions, or a loss of myelin, in the central nervous system. This myelin speeds up nerve impulse production, and this is what gets damaged in the case of MS.

Read the full press release here.

Read the research team’s final report.

Read the Irish Times article on the research.

MS Ireland would like to thank our Voluntary Branches and other supporters who have contributed to our research fund. Each year MS Ireland supports a number of research projects. Read more about our funded projects here. If you would like more information or wish to make a donation to our fund, please contact Taragh Donohoe on 01 678 1600 or email