Ongoing Research Projects

​AMIR

Title: Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Database
PI: Samia Khoury, MD
Co-Investigator: Hala Darwish, PhD; Bassem Yamout, MD; Samir Atweh, MD

Aims:

​The purpose of this study is to investigate the natural history of multiple sclerosis (MS), as measured by clinical evaluation and biomarkers of disease activity (MRI and immunologic studies), and to develop an electronic database with the clinical information obtained over the course of the study. The other purpose of this study is to explore and follow the course of cognitive performance of subjects with MS and correlates it with their blood and MRI findings. This will allow us to develop new laboratory tests in order to both diagnose and follow the course of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. This will also help us establish a behavioral and clinical database in addition to blood samples bank of MS patients who are carefully diagnosed, monitored and followed clinically.

EBV

Title: EBV infected B Lymphocyte Exosomes and Dendritic Cells: Differential Cytokine Profile in Multiple Sclerosis
PI: Samia Khoury, MD
Research Fellows: Stephanie Ghassan MD, and Sahar Osman MD

Aims:

Assess cytokine production by different subtypes of DCs after culturing with B lymphocyte-derived exosomes.

OCT

Title: Correlation of Retinal Optical Coherence Tomography Findings with Cognitive Function in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis.
PI: Samia Khoury, MD
Co-PI: Nabil El-Ayoubi, MD
Co-Investigator: Hala Darwish, PhD; Bassem Yamout, MD; Samir Atweh, MD; Roula Hamam, MD

Aims:

Primary
To explore the relationship between the changes in thickness of the retinal ganglion cell/inner plexiform layer (GCIPL) and cognitive function scores among patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis over one year.
Secondary
  • To evaluate the correlation between changes in thickness of the GCIP layer and clinical disability scores.
  • To assess the change in the thickness of the retinal GCIP layer in patients started on Fingolimod as compared to those started on Interferon.

Terikids

Title: A two year, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group trial to evaluate efficacy, safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of teriflunomide administered orally once daily in pediatric patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.
PIM: Bassem Yamout, MD
Investigators: Samia Khoury, MD; Stephanie Ghassan MD, and Sahar Osman MD; Nabil Ayoubi. MD

Aims:

The objectives of the proposed clinical pediatric development program are to assess the efficacy, safety/tolerability, and pharmacokinetics (PK) of teriflunomide in children and adolescents 10 to 17 years of age with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS).

VitD

Title: Effect of Vitamin D replacement on immune function and cognition in MS patients
PI: Samia Khoury, MD
Co-Investigators: Hala Darwish, PhD; Bassem Yamout, MD

Aims:

  • We will compare the immune responses in patients with Vitamin D deficiency (serum level <25µg/ml) to those of patients with normal Vitamin D (serum level >35 µg/ml).
  • We will measure cognitive performance in patients with Vitamin D deficiency (serum level <25µg/ml) compared to those of patients with normal Vitamin D (serum level >35 µg/ml) after adjusting for educational levels and disease duration. We hypothesize that low Vitamin D has a negative effect on cognitive performance and that Vitamin D supplementation will improve cognitive function. ​