FutureMS Phase 1

FutureMS used clinical examinations, brain imaging and genetics to try to predict how severe an individual's MS will be. The study is now fully recruited.


  • Multiple sclerosis

Project type

  • Understanding the condition

About the project

FutureMS Phase 1 was a Scotland-wide project for people who had recently been diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

When people are newly diagnosed with MS, they do not know what the future will hold. Most people experience occasional bouts of symptoms called 'relapses', but doctors cannot predict how often, or how severe these relapses will be. This can make it difficult for people to make decisions about their lifestyle, work and family.

The FutureMS project aims to remove the uncertainty that a diagnosis of MS can bring. By using clinical examinations, MRI brain imaging and genetic tests, the project gathered information to aim to develop a tool to predict how severe an individual’s MS will be. It also hopes to find opportunities to help prevent relapses, disability accumulation and adverse events amongst people with MS.

The tool being developed also aims to assist doctors make a more informed choice on which of the 11 available licensed drugs to prescribe to people to reduce the relapse rate in MS. Helping them choose the right one for the right person at the right time. This is sometimes called ‘personalised or precision medicine’.

The FutureMS research project began in 2015 and between 2016 and 2019 had recruited 440 participants across 5 Scottish locations – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Inverness. 

The study is now fully recruited, the data collected is being analysed, and results are getting published. Phase 2 of the FutureMS project started recruitment in autumn 2021.

Related links

The FutureMS-2 project



Anne Rowling Clinic, Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre, Biogen, Chief Scientist Office


FutureMS cohort profile: a Scottish multicentre inception cohort study of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis
Patrick K A Kearns, Sarah J Martin, Jessie Chang, Rozanna Meijboom, Elizabeth N York, Yingdi Chen, Christine Weaver, Amy Stenson, Katarzyna Hafezi, Stacey Thomson
Elizabeth Freyer, Lee Murphy, Adil Harroud, Peter Foley, David Hunt, Margaret McLeod, Jonathon O'Riordan, F J Carod-Artal, Niall J J MacDougall, Sergio E Baranzini, Adam D Waldman, Peter Connick, Siddharthan Chandran
2022 Jun 29 in
BMJ Open
Longitudinal retinal imaging study of newly diagnosed relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in Scottish population: baseline and 12 months follow-up profile of FutureMS retinal imaging cohort
Yingdi Chen, Juan Larraz, Michael Wong, Patrick Kearns, Fraser Brown, Sarah-Jane Martin, Peter Connick, Niall MacDougall, Christine Weaver, Baljean Dhillon, Siddharthan Chandran
2022 Jul 22 in
BMJ Open Ophthalmology
Rationale and design of the brain magnetic resonance imaging protocol for FutureMS: a longitudinal multi-centre study of newly diagnosed patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in Scotland
Rozanna Meijboom
Stewart J. Wiseman
Elizabeth N. York
Mark E. Bastin
Maria del C. Valdés Hernández
Michael J. Thrippleton
Daisy Mollison
Nicole White
Agniete Kampaite
Kog Ng Kee Kwong
David Rodriguez Gonzalez
Dominic Job
Christine Weaver
Patrick K. A. Kearns
Peter Connick
Siddharthan Chandran
Adam D. Waldman
2023 Jan 30 in
Wellcome Open Research


Closed – analysing data


FutureMS Research Nurse
0131 465 9517

Eligibility criteria

FutureMS is now closed for new recruitment and data analysis is underway of the first phase of this study.