Affiliation(s): University of British Columbia
Dr. Tony Traboulsee is a Professor of Neurology and Research Chair of the MS Society of Canada at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He is the Head of the MS and NMO Program at UBC Hospital. His research focus is on establishing new imaging tools for monitoring remyelination in Multiple Sclerosis.He was the lead author on Consortium of MS Centers international Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of MS and co-author on the International Panel Diagnostic Criteria for Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder and the International Panel Diagnostic Criteria for Multiple Sclerosis.
How did you become interested in MS research? What inspires you to continue advancing research in this field?
Great mentorship from MS leaders including Donald Paty, David Li, David Miller, and W Ian MacDonald got me interested in MS early in my career. Working with bright, energetic young researchers inspires me daily. Seeing the positive impact research and care has on MS patients in the clinic is incredibly rewarding.
What do you enjoy most about doing research and what are some of the challenges you face?
Research is a great opportunity to answer questions and create new ideas. The biggest challenge we will face in this large project is in ensuring participants feel engaged and valued throughout, and that we communicate what we are learning with them regularly.
What is your role in the Canadian MS Progression Cohort?
I will be a co-lead in the health economic pillar, working closely with Larry Lynd and Scott Patten to better understand the impact of MS on all aspects of an individuals life.This information will be critically important to advocate for important resources for people with MS.
Describe the importance and level of collaboration in your research and in the Canadian MS Progression Cohort?
This study is perfect for Canadian researchers who already work closely together with a strong collaborative culture. We can now combine the power of new imaging techniques with the latest immunology analysis - but importantly, we want to relate this back to the individual with MS, so that we identify what strategies give the best possible outcomes.
How important is the support from the funders/donors in enabling you to conduct research?
What is learned from this study will inform the next decade of MS funded research and health care spending on MS.
Why is it important that patients take part in this initiative?
The true power and success of any study is patient engagement and fulfillment. The questions being addressed are patient-focused and we hope very relevant to their personal goals and aspirations. We hope to introduce patient-focused tools that capture information such as quality of life that isn't routinely monitored in clinical practice. This will give a much better understanding of the challenges and success patients are faced with.
What potential outcomes do you expect to arise from the Canadian MS Progression Cohort?
We will have a much better idea of the full costs of MS early on and throughout the duration of the disease. This will be especially important when we are dealing with health care access and supporting patients who are able to work.