The Ausimmune and AusLong Studies

The Ausimmune Study was a case-control study led by NCEPH researchers. From 2003 to 2006 participants were recruited from four regions of Australia - Brisbane, Newcastle, Geelong and the Western Districts of Victoria, and Tasmania. Case participants had a recent first clinical diagnosis of central nervous system demyelination; control participants were matched to a case on age, sex and study region. The Ausimmune Study also included a follow-up of case participants at 2-3 following their first participation in the Study. The AusLong Studies (continuous NHMRC funding for the AusLongI, II and III Studies) is following case participants to 15 years from their initial participation in the Ausimmune Study (led by Menzies Research Institute Tasmania). The Ausimmune Study aimed to test the hypothesis that low sun exposure and/or vitamin D were associated with increased risk of multiple sclerosis. Additional work has tested the role of Epstein Barr virus, various components of diet, parity, occupational exposures. New work on epigenetic changes is currently underway.