Dr Charles Malpas aims to address the gap in knowledge on the variants of cognitive impairment among Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients with a substantial MS Research Australia grant.

Dr Charles Malpas
Dr Charles Malpas

The RMH Neuropsychologist and University of Melbourne Researcher was one of twenty MS scientific research projects chosen for the 2021 round of grants, from money raised from a record-breaking year of fundraising among Australia’s generous MS community.

MS is a complex and varied disease. In particular, cognition (thinking and memory) issues can be common in people living with MS and may present in many ways, such as problems with attention, concentration and language.

However, exactly how these different cognitive functions impact on or interact with each other’s function is unknown. Presently there does not exist a universal model of potential cognitive impairment in MS to assist clinicians in the diagnosis and management of cognitive issues for affected people living with MS.

Dr Malpas’ research project will evaluate new model to assess cognitive impairment in people living with MS and to translate this model into clinical use. The project will use this tool to also explore how separate areas of cognition (such as attention and memory) interact.

The study may lead to the development a new model of cognitive impairment in MS for health care professionals to use, leading to improvements in both diagnosis and management.

Dr Malpas said he was honoured to receive this grant from the passionate members of the MS community.

“I would like to extend my thanks to the passionate members of the MS community who, despite a pandemic and a lockdown, still managed to break fundraising records to advance MS research,” he said.

“I hope, through our research project, we will ultimately improve cognitive rehabilitation, communications between clinicians, patient education and quality of life for people living with MS.”

The Royal Melbourne Hospital congratulates Dr Malpas on receiving the MS Research Australia Post-Doctoral Fellowship.

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