Is EPIC open for enrollment?

Yes! We are looking for people with the following:
  • Must have or be suspected of having MS
  • Never taken any MS disease modifying therapies
  • No steroids in the past 4 weeks
  • Be willing to have an annual MRI, blood draw, questionnaires and assessments
  • Be willing to complete these visits on an annual basis at our research facility in San Francisco, CA
  • Optional studies include an annual assessment of the visual system, a one-time lumbar puncture, and an intestinal microbiota DNA analysis

How do I join EPIC?

Please read the above question and check the enrollment criteria. If you meet the criteria, please email us at or call us directly at (415) 502-7197.

What is the duration of EPIC?

EPIC has been open since 2004 and plans to continue indefinitely.

Does the EPIC study provide treatment for participants?

No. EPIC does not provide any treatment for participants. We do offer yearly MRIs with copies of the research images made available to participants. If you are interested in joining EPIC and also enrolling in a clinical trial for a disease-modifying therapy, we will coordinate with our colleagues. You will have your EPIC visit first, and will then meet with a clinical trial coordinator to see if any of the trials at UCSF are right for you.

Are EPIC participants paid?

Yes. EPIC participants are paid $60 per visit, which is meant to cover transportation and food.

What is a typical study visit like?

Although the very first visit for EPIC will also include an assessment by one of our neurologists and a possible lumbar puncture, a typical 5-hour day is as follows:
  • Signing of consent forms
  • Blood draw
  • MRI - 1.5 hrs
  • Break for lunch
  • MS assessments & interview/questionnaires - 1 hr
  • EDSS - 30 min
  • OCT scan - 1 hr 15 min

I have MS but don't qualify for EPIC. Are there other studies I can join?

Yes. Please check the UCSF MS Clinic research page for more studies.

I don't have MS, but I want to support EPIC. What can I do?

Thank you for your interest! While EPIC does not currently need healthy controls, many of our affiliated MS studies at UCSF do. If you have more than one blood relative with MS, please consider taking part in our MS Genetics Study. Our Neuroimmunology Study welcomes all healthy volunteers with no history of neurological disease, regardless of family history of MS. You may also consider donating to the EPIC study.

Where can I learn more about EPIC?

Our "About EPIC" page has a comprehensive overview of the study, as well as information about each component. You can also watch videos of the different investigators talking about their research with respect to EPIC. These videos can be found linked at the bottom of each toggle down section on the "About EPIC" page, or you can go to our Vimeo page.