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, Phase 2 of the FutureMS project started recruitment in autumn 2021.

Results so far

Our researchers are busy analysing the data on an ongoing basis, and writing up their findings as articles in scientific journals to benefit the worldwide MS research community.

We have prepared short summaries of all the findings to date: FutureMS scientific publications.

Related links

The FutureMS-2 project



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



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.