Research by Dr Rachelle Shafei

All of our attendees carry out a piece of research in an area of MS clinical practice or treatment that interests them.

This snapshot gives you a quick idea of what they found and why. If you want to learn more, just click through to the full research report, or follow the links within the snapshot.

If you would like to contact the alumni who did the research, drop us a line and we’ll put you in touch where possible.

 

Aim

To find out if current recommendations around changes to diet for patients with MS who have just been treated with alemtazumab do enough to make sure patients safely self-manage their food handling and storage, and therefore reduce their risk of developing potentially fatal infections like Listeriosis.

Headlines

  • Alemtuzumab causes increased risk of serious infections like Listeriosis because the treatment leads to profound and prolonged T cell depletion, with a short-lived B cell depletion
  • Listeriosis, a potentially fatal disease, most commonly manifests as meningitis. 0.25% of people treated with alemtuzumab are at risk of developing it.
  • An anonymised online audit was used to gather information about patient knowledge and attitudes.

Key findings

The study found a wide variation in patient knowledge and practice. This meant that:

  • Only one patient sought immediate medical attention when they became ill.
  • Most patients, on becoming ill, either delayed seeking, or chose not to seek medical attention (53%).
  • At the time of being prescribed alemtuzumab, only 57% of patients read all of the information they were given while 23% did not think it was important enough to read fully.
  • 57% of patients followed advice about food preparation but only 14% followed advice about food storage.

Core recommendations

  • There is a real need to improve knowledge, and to give patients the tools to follow all recommended practices.
  • Providing an information pack making safety advice clear and sharing tools to encourage compliance would make a significant difference to the advice being followed. These tools might include fridge magnets, a wallet prompt and a thermometer).

 

Take action

  • Read the full report
  • Contact the researcher to discuss their work (please put the name of the Snapshot as your title in our contact form)
  • Learn more about the issues raised in this report. Click the scattered links to access further information.