MND Association funded researcher featured on JNNP podcast

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At last year’s 21st International Symposium on ALS/MND, we told you about a study which suggested that handedness is linked to the site of onset (Handedness linked to symptom onset – Lessons from a poster presentation). Talking about his research on the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry podcast, is Dr Martin Turner who’s an MND researcher, clinician and co-director of the Oxford MND Care Centre.

Having MND mentioned on this podcast is not only great awareness of the disease to everybody who listens to it, but it’s also an opportunity for researchers to disseminate their news in a new and exciting format.

In the podcast, Dr Turner discusses that if physical exercise does increase the risk of somebody developing MND, then a person’s handedness may influence the site of onset due to the motor neurones in the handed arm being used more so than the other arm. However, due to people using both feet (generally) equally while standing etc then there would not be a relationship between footedness and side of onset.

To find out if this was true or not, Dr Turner, and colleagues used to ask 343 people living with limb onset ALS to complete a questionnaire regarding their site of onset and dominant hand and foot. From their results, they identified that there was a link between the side of onset for people who had upper limb onset MND and their handedness. People with a lower limb onset did not have a relationship between their footedness and side of onset as expected.

Dr Martin Turner features on the podcast for about 10 minutes: Listen to the BMJ podcast now: from 8.58 minutes.

The MND Association’s vision is a world free from MND. Realising this vision means investing more in research, further developing partnerships with the research community, funding bodies and industry, while ensuring that advances in understanding and treating MND are communicated as quickly and effectively as possible. Our Research Development team, composed of 11 members, work hard to achieve this. Principally, the Research Information team within this are involved in communication activities including this MND Research blog.