Highlighting MND researchers of the future – part 2

Last week saw the culmination of 12-months of planning as the 30th International Symposium on ALS/MND took place in Perth, Australia. The Symposium brings together the brightest minds from the MND research and healthcare communities. With 100 oral presentations, and over 420 posters, the Symposium is an opportunity for around 1,000 researchers and healthcare professionals to share new understanding of the disease, and is the premier event in the MND research calendar for discussion on the latest advances in research and clinical management.

andrewBefore the Symposium, the Research Information team invited two early career researchers, who both presented a poster at this year’s event, into our offices to talk about their work and why the Symposium is important to them.

We thought we would share this with you, and this is the second of two blog articles highlighting MND researchers of the future – introducing Andrew Tosolini.Read More »

Highlighting the MND researchers of the future – part 1

This week sees the start of the 30th International Symposium on ALS/MND in Perth, Australia. The Symposium brings together the brightest minds from the MND research and healthcare communities. With 110 oral presentations, and over 420 posters, the Symposium is an opportunity for around 1,000 researchers and healthcare professionals to share new understanding of the disease, and is the premier event in the MND research calendar for discussion on the latest advances in research and clinical management.

tobiasBefore the Symposium, the Research Information team invited two early career researchers, who are both presenting a poster at this year’s event, into our offices to talk about their work and why the Symposium is important to them.

We thought we would share this with you, and this is the first of two blog articles highlighting MND researchers of the future – introducing Tobias Moll.Read More »

TUDCA-ALS has started recruiting in the UK

TUDCA-ALS is a European Consortium (funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 grant) involving top researchers from seven countries across Europe (see Figure 1). The Consortium aims to find a new treatment to slow down the progression of MND/ALS by conducting a clinical trial to investigate the safety and efficacy (effectiveness) of Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (also known as TUDCA).Read More »

ALSUntangled – untangling the mysteries of alternative and off-label treatments

There are literally thousands of websites on the internet that make claims about amazing alternative or off-label treatments (AOTs) and even cures for MND but with little or no scientific evidence to back these claims up. This presents a real problem for people living with the disease who may want to try them. Are they safe? Will they help? Or are they going to cause more problems than they solve?

Bedlack, Dr Rick

 

In 2009 Dr Richard Bedlack, Professor of Neurology at Duke University in the USA, founded ALSUntangled to develop a system of review for some of these treatments using the available evidence, to make it easier for people with MND and their families to make more informed decisions about them.Read More »

MND Engage – collaboration, engagement and communication

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Martina, Lydia, Mandy, Nick and Kirsten from the MND Association

MND Engage was a one-day collaborative event, bringing together MND researchers and people affected by MND. The inaugural event was held at the Francis Crick Institute in London on 23 July. The event, organised by researchers Jasmine Harley, Giulia Tyzack and Helen Divine, and supported by the MND Association’s Research Development and Communications teams, brought together MND researchers from several UK laboratories working on MND in order to explore ways in which public engagement in MND research could be improved.

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Introducing Riddhi – Research Information Co-ordinator

Hi all! I’m Riddhi and I’ve just joined the MND Association as a ‘Research Information Co-ordinator’ in the Research Development Team 😊

Riddhi
Riddhi Naik

You’ll probably see me across the blog, from writing posts on exciting updates in MND research to replying to your comments, so I thought it would be nice to introduce myself and my background (including how I used ladybirds in neurodegenerative diseases). I’m thrilled to be part of the organisation that continuously strives towards helping people living with and affected by MND through funding research, campaigning and providing care and support. I look forward to exploring all the studies that contribute to finding an effective treatment or cure and then communicating these to you.Read More »

New gene therapy targeting C9orf72-ALS begins Phase 1 clinical trial in the UK

This article was written by Dr Keith Mayl and Dr Ahmad Al Khleifat of King’s College London.

Researchers at King’s College Hospital, led by Professor Christopher Shaw, have embarked on the first gene therapy clinical trial for patients affected by a specific genetic form of ALS, the most common type of MND.

ALS is a progressive disease in which the nerves controlling muscle movement, known as motor neurons, degenerate resulting in muscle wasting and weakness. In about 10% of people the cause is a mutation in the C9orf72 gene. This mutation results in the formation of toxic products which are harmful to motor neurons. People with the mutation typically develop symptoms in their 50s, starting with speech and swallowing problems, followed by weakness of the arms, legs and breathing. It is also linked to problems with language and behaviour and is the most common genetic cause of frontotemporal dementia.Read More »

Kennedy’s Disease vs ALS: How muscle patterns can aid diagnosis and perform as a novel biomarker

Researchers from University College London led by Dr Pietro Fratta and Dr John Thornton found that muscle imaging can help distinguish Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) from Kennedy’s Disease based on the way specific muscle groups deteriorate in each condition. The method can also help assess the severity of the disease.

ALS is a rapidly progressing condition which affects both upper and lower motor neurones, leading to inability to move limbs and failure of breathing muscles at the later stages of the disease. The complex cause of this condition is not yet fully understood but is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Kennedy’s Disease on the other hand is much slower in progression and severity and is primarily caused by a gene mutation.

Read More »

Picture of face and eye

Do the eyes have it? Could Resistant Nerves See Our Way to a Treatment?

The Science Show on ABC Radio National in Australia, features an interview with Professor Justin Yerbury on Saturday 17th August.

The article containing the interview titled ‘Resistant nerves could lead to treatment for neurodegenerative disease‘ is a fascinating insight into Prof Yerbury’s work on the  delicate balance of proteins in solution within our nerves and how this is interrupted in MND.

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Focusing on mitochondria – a potential target for early MND treatment?

Dr Arpan Mehta, one of our Lady Edith Wolfson Clinical Fellows, and his team at the Euan MacDonald Centre at the University of Edinburgh have recently carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of the pre-clinical literature (studies using animal models) to assess the therapeutic potential of targeting mitochondrial dysfunction in MND, examining if these interventions significantly affect survival in animal models of the disease, and determining the most effective time to begin treatment.

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