Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on RADAR-CNS

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has inevitably impacted RADAR-CNS. Our project management team is monitoring the situation closely and is in contact with the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) on updates.

Our clinical sites researching our three conditions, depression, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, are multi-centre and across eight study sites in the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Italy. The Coronavirus pandemic has affected each of the studies differently.


At present none of the study activities for the RADAR-CNS MDD arm of our work have been affected by the recentoutbreak of Coronavirus. The team have all quickly adapted to working remotely and are still available for contact during usual working hours. The researchers really appreciate the continued participation of all those enrolled on the RADAR-CNS MDD arm of the trial, especially given the current circumstances.

They are however aware that COVID-19 will likely disrupt people’s usual lives and routines, and lead to people changing their behaviour. In order to understand how the pandemic may potentially impact people living with MDD they are adding some additional questions to the study protocol, which specifically relate to experiences of COVID-19.

Dr Grace Lavelle, adds ‘The valued contributions from our participants are now more important than ever to help us gain a better understanding and insight, into the lives of people living with major depressive disorder. We are therefore asking participants to continue to engage with RADAR as best they can during this period. We really appreciate all the ongoing support of the RADAR-CNS MDD arm and extensive contributions being made as we work towards a better understanding of ways to track and predict symptoms of depression.’

RADAR-CNS Epilepsy study

Our first RADAR-CNS Epilepsy study (in hospital) has paused recruitment of new participants during this time.  The second study is due to start later this year.


The RADAR-CNS multiple sclerosis research comprises of two studies (MS disability and fatigue – study one; and MS depression – study two) and involves three European MS centres in Milan, Barcelona, and Copenhagen.

 As two of the cities have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, this has greatly affected the studies. Since the end of February, all participant neurological visits at the three MS centres have been reduced in terms of time spent at the center for security reasons. Therefore, all clinical assessments, assessment of disability through Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and other clinical tests the RADAR-MS research teams carrying out regularly have been canceled. However, they have been able to conduct the remaining tests through phone interviews. This may have a greater impact on the MS disability and fatigue study than on MS depression study, but the researchers will know more in due course. 

 If you’re currently enrolled in the RADAR-CNS study and have any questions or concerns, please contact your clinical team.