• About
Karolinska institutet
Karolinska universitetssjukhuset

Jan Hillert Group

Neuroepidemiology with focus on multiple sclerosis


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system affecting more than two million people world-wide. MS is the second most common cause of neurological disability in young adults. The disease progression varies between patients but often causes different degrees of disability.

Neuroepidemiology with focus on multiple sclerosis

In the MS epidemiology research group, we use data from the Swedish MS registry on its own or linked to data from public databases such as Statistics Sweden, National Board of Health and Welfare and Swedish Social Insurance Agency in order to perform epidemiological studies related to MS. Access to these large data collections allows as to conduct research projects into MS outcomes with the aim of describing how MS patients fare over time as regards disease progression, treatment regimens and socioeconomic outcomes. Our studies will hopefully contribute to increased knowledge of factors influencing MS disease and socioeconomic burden of MS with the ultimate ambition of providing the basis for an improved and cost effective healthcare for MS patients.

Our research group consists of molecular biologists, epidemiologists and neurologists.

Research Projects

Basic epidemiology

Incidence and prevalence of MS in Sweden, MS geographical distribution and changes over time in incidence and prevalence of MS

Treatment studies (pharmacoepidemiology)

Patterns of treatment initiation, switch, escalation and discontinuation, types of treatment, adverse effects and treatment efficacy

Health economy and societal consequences of MS

Cost of MS, sickness absence, disability pension, earnings

Clinical course of MS

Progression of disability and impairment in different types of MS, investigations on causes and course of pediatric MS, and factors influencing disease progression

Group Leader

Jan Hillert, professor/senior physician, jan.hillert@ki.se

Group members

Giuseppina Affinito, affiliated to research, giuseppina.affinito@ki.se

Sahl Khalid Bedri, affiliated to research, sahl.bedri@ki.se

Omid Belki, affiliated to research, omid.beiki@ki.se

Anders Berglund, affiliated to research, anders.berglund@ki.se

Stefanie Binzer, affiliated to research, stefanie.binzer@ki.se

Athanasia Christakou, postdoc, athanasia.christakou@ki.se

Anna Cunningham, affiliated to research, anna.cunningham@ki.se

Virginija Danylaité Karrenbauer, affiliated to research, virginija.karrenbauer@ki.se

Katarina Fink, affiliated to research, katarina.fink@ki.se

Lars Forsberg, database coordinator, lars.eric.forsberg@ki.se

Anna Glaser, senior research specialist, anna.glaser@ki.se

Anna He, PhD student, anna.he@ki.se

Anna Hedström, senior research specialist, anna.hedstrom@ki.se

Andrius Kavaliunas, affiliated to research, andrius.kavaliunas@ki.se

Pernilla Klyve, research administrator, pernilla.klyve@ki.se

Veronica Larsson, project coordinator, veronica.larsson@ki.se

Magnus Lundkvist, PhD student, magnus.lundkvist@ki.se

Kyla McKay, assistant professor, kyla.mckay@ki.se

Elena Flavia Mouresan, research specialist, elena.flavia.mouresan@ki.se

Amin Nouhi, research assistant, amin.nouhi@ki.se

Rayomand Press, affiliated to research, rayomand.press@ki.se

Tim Spelman, senior research specialist, tim.spelman@ki.se

Leszek Stawiarz, project manager, leszek.stawiarz@ki.se

Elisabet Waldenlind, affiliated to research, elisabet.waldenlind@ki.se

Selected publications

Proportion and characteristics of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis in five European registries using objective classifiers. Forsberg L, Spelman T, Klyve P, Manouchehrinia A, Ramanujam R, Mouresan E, Drahota J, Horakova D, Joensen H, Pontieri L, Magyari M, Ellenberger D, Stahmann A, Rodgers J, Witts J, Middleton R, Nicholas R, Bezlyak V, Adlard N, Hach T, Lines C, Vukusic S, Soilu-Hänninen M, van der Walt A, Butzkueven H, Iaffaldano P, Trojano M, Glaser A, Hillert J; SPMS Research Collaboration Network. Mult Scler J Exp Transl Clin. 2023 Feb 16;9(1):20552173231153557.

Association between early treatment of multiple sclerosis and patient-reported outcomes: a nationwide observational cohort study. He A, Spelman T, Manouchehrinia A, Ciccarelli O, Hillert J, McKay K. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2023 Apr;94(4):284-289.

Trajectories of disease-modifying therapies and associated sickness absence and disability pension among 1923 people with multiple sclerosis in Sweden. Teni FS, Machado A, Murley C, He A, Fink K, Gyllensten H, Glaser A, Alexanderson K, Hillert J, Friberg E. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2023 Jan;69:104456.

Reduction in Cognitive Processing Speed Surrounding Multiple Sclerosis Relapse. McKay KA, Bedri SK, Manouchehrinia A, Stawiarz L, Olsson T, Hillert J, Fink K. Ann Neurol. 2022 Mar;91(3):417-423.

Treatment Escalation vs Immediate Initiation of Highly Effective Treatment for Patients With Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Data From 2 Different National Strategies. Spelman T, Magyari M, Piehl F, Svenningsson A, Rasmussen PV, Kant M, Sellebjerg F, Joensen H, Hillert J, Lycke J. JAMA Neurology 2021 78;10 1197-1204.

Increased rate of hospitalisation for COVID-19 among rituximab-treated multiple sclerosis patients: A study of the Swedish multiple sclerosis registry. Spelman T, Forsberg L, McKay K, Glaser A, Hillert J. Mult Scler. 2022 Jun;28(7):1051-1059.

Long-term Socioeconomic Outcomes Associated With Pediatric-Onset Multiple Sclerosis. McKay KA, Friberg E, Razaz N, Alexanderson K, Hillert J. JAMA Neurol. 2021 Apr 1;78(4):478-482.

Accurate classification of secondary progression in multiple sclerosis using a decision tree. Ramanujam R, Zhu F, Fink K, Karrenbauer VD, Lorscheider J, Benkert P, Kingwell E, Tremlett H, Hillert J, Manouchehrinia A; BeAMS Study group. Mult Scler. 2021 Jul;27(8):1240-1249.

Long-term disability progression of pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis. McKay KA, Hillert J, Manouchehrinia A. Neurology. 2019 Jun 11;92(24):e2764-e2773.

Changes in the Risk of Reaching Multiple Sclerosis Disability Milestones In Recent Decades: A Nationwide Population-Based Cohort Study in Sweden. Beiki O, Frumento P, Bottai M, Manouchehrinia A, Hillert J. JAMA Neurol. 2019 Jun 1;76(6):665-671.

Age Related Multiple Sclerosis Severity Score: Disability ranked by age. Manouchehrinia A, Westerlind H, Kingwell E, Zhu F, Carruthers R, Ramanujam R, Ban M, Glaser A, Sawcer S, Tremlett H, Hillert J. Mult Scler. 2017 Dec;23(14):1938-1946.

Importance of early treatment initiation in the clinical course of multiple sclerosis. Kavaliunas A, Manouchehrinia A, Stawiarz L, Ramanujam R, Agholme J, Hedström AK, Beiki O, Glaser A, Hillert J. Mult Scler. 2017 Aug;23(9):1233-1240.

Treatment Switching and Discontinuation Over 20 Years in the Big Multiple Sclerosis Data Network. Hillert J, Magyari M, Sorensen PS, Butzkueven H, Van Der Welt A, Vukusic S, Trojano M, Iaffaldano P, Pellegrini F, Hyde RB, Stawiarz L, Manouchehrinia A, Spelman T, Danish MS Registry, Italian MS Registry, Observ Francais Sclerose Plaques, MSBase Study Grp, Swedish MS Registry. Front Neurol 2021 12; 647811-

Effect of Smoking Cessation on Multiple Sclerosis Prognosis. Ramanujam R, Hedström AK, Manouchehrinia A, Alfredsson L, Olsson T, Bottai M, Hillert J. JAMA Neurol. 2015 Oct;72(10):1117-23.

The Swedish MS registry – clinical support tool and scientific resource. Hillert J, Stawiarz L. Acta Neurol Scand. 2015;132(199):11-9.

About CMM

The Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) is a foundation instituted by the Stockholm County Council (Region Stockholm). CMM is at the heart of a close partnership with the Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet, fueling advancements in biomedical and clinical research.


Center for Molecular Medicine Foundation, org. nr. 815201-3689

Karolinska University Hospital L8:05

Visionsgatan 18

171 76 Stockholm, Sweden


Karolinska institutet
Karolinska universitetssjukhuset