Reading Time: 5 minutes Every year, the team works hard to build on the previous year’s success. This year we are excited to include a series of three ALS-FTD joint sessions, in collaboration with the International Society for Frontotemporal Dementias, in the programme. To give you a teaser of what is to come, we are taking a closer look at the plenary speakers in the ALS-FTD sessions at the Symposium. In this blog, we explore the topics they will be presenting and find out a little more about the speakers.
Reading Time: 3 minutes Hi all, my name is Kiran, and I am the newest member of the Research Team! My role within the MND Association is as a Research Officer, where I am helping organise the International Symposium on ALS/MND and communicating the latest research to the wider community, including writing for this blog. Before joining the Association,…
Reading Time: 5 minutes Every year, the team works hard to build on the previous year’s success. This year we are excited to include a series of three ALS-FTD joint sessions, in collaboration with the International Society for Frontotemporal Dementias, in the programme.
Some people with ALS, the most common form of MND, also develop a form of dementia known as frontotemporal dementia (FTD). FTD is a group of disorders where the nerve cells in two sets of lobes (frontal and temporal) in the brain are damaged. In a similar way to how motor neurones break down in MND and cause loss of function in muscles, the damage to the nerve cells in FTD causes the connections between parts of the brain to break down. As more cells become damaged and die this can lead to symptoms such as problems with memory, thinking or language, changes in mood, emotions and behaviour.
Reading Time: 7 minutes Each year at the Symposium, there is a huge amount of research presented on a range of topics from across the globe. With the Symposium returning to an in-person event this year, we are keen to increase the number of updates we share for those not able to attend, including people living with and affected by MND.
To help us do this, we have launched a new Symposium Communications Ambassador Programme so we can bring more of the research from the Symposium to non-scientific audiences. This programme was open for applications from early career researchers working in MND, who were interested in helping us shine a light on MND research happening across the world. This year we have 5 early career researchers taking part in the Programme, who will gain experience and new skills in communicating research to different audiences. Before, during and after the Symposium our Ambassador’s will be helping us to share the latest research with the MND community.
Reading Time: 7 minutes Each year we invite plenary speakers who are experts in their fields to provide an overview on topics across MND research and clinical practice. This year we have 14 plenary speakers talking about ALS/MND who will discuss a wide range of topics from genetics to tissue biomarkers to improving clinical practice. In this second blog we will be taking a closer look at some of our plenary speakers this year and sharing more about the topics they will be discussing.
Reading Time: 7 minutes As the research team count down to this year’s International Symposium on ALS/MND, we will be posting blogs throughout November to give you a snapshot of some of the research being presented at this year’s event. This year marks the 34th Symposium, the largest scientific and medical conference specific to ALS/MND, and we are looking…
Reading Time: 4 minutes My name is Dr Hannah Smith, and I’m a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh. My project is supervised by Professor Tom Gillingwater, and my work is funded by MND Scotland. My current research focuses on comparing healthy motor neurons and those with MND/ALS, specifically focusing on early changes to the cellular machinery and how the motor neurons produce the proteins they need to function. I’ll discuss the specifics of that, and why we are interested in finding out this information, in the next section.
Reading Time: 4 minutes My name is Florence and I’m doing a PhD in artificial intelligence (AI) enabled healthcare at University College London. My research is specifically investigating how AI techniques can be used to improve the prediction of how quickly somebody’s disease will progress in motor neurone disease.
Reading Time: 5 minutes Hi there! I’m Dezerae, and I am currently a Lady Edith Wolfson Junior Non-Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. My work, supported by the MND Association, seeks to develop new tools that enable us to evaluate models of MND we use in the laboratory for research and therapeutic testing. Recently, I have been…
Reading Time: 5 minutes My current work focuses on looking at the cell types that are affected in MND and how they impact each other. Motor neurons, the main cell type affected in MND, connect our brains and muscles. This connection is what allows us to move. In MND, these cells start to die, which is what leads to progressive paralysis. But motor neurons aren’t the only cell types affected by MND. They are surrounded by many more cells called glia, which have roles in keeping our motor neurons healthy.