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Kinesiology student wins national award to study multiple sclerosis

By Michelle Osmond | April 24, 2013

Third-year Human Kinetics and Recreation student Olivia Manning has won a national award with the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society of Canada. It’s a summer studentship award of $5,000 working with Dr. Michelle Ploughman from the Faculty of Medicine.

Since January, Ms. Manning has been volunteering with a project called Health, Lifestyle and Aging with Multiple Sclerosis with Dr. Ploughman.

The study that Ms. Manning will be working on this summer involves older clients with MS and self-management programs. With this award she will publish a paper and travel to attend and present her research project at endMS Network events.

“I have not decided yet what my paper will be on; however, it looks as though I will be writing about the controversial liberation treatment. So many of our survey participants have received the treatment by travelling to places like India, Costa Rica, and other exotic countries, or by being funded,” she said. 

“This treatment has little to no concrete science behind it, so it will be fascinating to analyze the participants who have had this procedure and see what they have in common with each other, as opposed to those who have not had the treatment. I will be looking at things such as education level, socioeconomic class, what stage of the disease they are in and other factors that make these Canadians decide to travel abroad to have this procedure done.”

Ms. Manning’s project begins in May and she says she is honoured to be working with Dr. Ploughman.

“She is very distinguished in the clinical research community. I have been and continue to learn so much from her. She is very supportive and has a great deal of experience to share with students like me.”