Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an auto-immune neuro-degenerative disease that affects multiple systems. MS most commonly results in visual (e.g. optic neuritis) and motor (e.g. limb weakness) disorders. A recent systematic review of the past 20 years of literature on MS and audio-vestibular function revealed that both auditory and vestibular functions may be affected in persons with MS. However, conclusions on the exact effects couldn’t be drawn given that most studies did not account for potential confounds (e.g. MS type and severity), and due to methodological variabilities between studies.
· To investigate the relationship between MS and auditory function and to quantify this effect.
· To investigate the relationship between MS and vestibular function and to quantify this effect.
· Auditory function is affected in persons with MS, this effect becomes worse with increasing MS severity.
· Vestibular function is affected in persons with MS, this effect becomes worse with increasing MS severity.
In this project, a comprehensive auditory and vestibular test battery will be conducted on persons with MS using procedures, parameters and protocols that are commonly used in a clinical setting. This test battery will assess the pathway from periphery to cortex. Normal versus abnormal results will be based on available clinically utilized normative data. The relationship between MS and auditory / vestibular function will be investigated while accounting for potential confounds (e.g. MS type, severity, use of disease modifying therapies).
The expected outcome of this project is to better understand the effects of MS on auditory and vestibular function in order to guide clinical practice in terms of: (1) How MS may affect the auditory and vestibular systems; (2) which tests should be included in the test battery when assessing persons with MS; (3) ensuring early detection and intervention of auditory and vestibular disorders in persons with MS.
Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area/subject. Candidates with previous laboratory experience are particularly encouraged to apply.
How To Apply
For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website (https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/). Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select the appropriate subject title.
For international students, we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences.
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