Every March, Brain Awareness Week (11 – 17 March 2013) unites people of all ages worldwide to raise awareness of brain research. There are 45 free events across the UK, including seminars and school visits.
On the evening of the 11 March Belinda attended the free award ceremony for the winner of the Europe PubMed Central-led science writing competition ‘Access to understanding’, which included a large number of entries on an MND paper.
On the 13 March University College London (UCL) will be running a free public symposia on ‘Degenerating Brains’. As well as talks on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, Prof Chris Shaw (King’s College London) will be speaking about MND. Due to the popularity of this event it is now fully booked.
Our Brain Research
Dr Martin Turner’s BioMOx project MND Association funded researcher Dr Martin Turner at the University of Oxford has identified a pattern of degeneration in the brains of people with MND that is linked to the level of disability.
Continuing and expanding BioMOx Dr Martin Turner has also been awarded his second MRC/MND Association Lady Edith Wolfson Clinical Research Fellowship to carry on his BioMOx project which is to begin in August 2013.
Dr Turner will be broadening the BioMOx project to include people identified as being at risk of developing MND from families with a history of the disease but who are not yet showing symptoms.
Dr Tennore Ramesh’s interneuron findings A recent study by Association funded researcher Dr Tennore Ramesh from the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) has shown that even before the symptoms of MND occur, at the earliest stages of the disease, ‘connector neurones’ known as interneurons are already becoming damaged in the zebrafish.
Prof Mara Cercignani’s MRI scans project Starting in October 2013 Prof Mara Cercignan’s Association funded PhD studentship will use brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans that have already been obtained from many studies at King’s College London over the past 16 years.
This project will apply new ideas in medical computing to old data in order to identify how MRI changes in the brains of people with MND evolve. This will then enable the development of a new method to ‘stage’ MND progression so that brain abnormalities can be detected earlier.
Tissue Donation and MND
Tissue donation is a generous gift that can make a vital contribution towards MND research. Researchers investigating MND are particularly interested in the whole of the brain and spinal cord tissue, otherwise known as the central nervous system (CNS).
A brain and spinal cord tissue donation is made from either a healthy individual or somebody with MND after their death. To find out more information about tissue donation please see our information sheet on our website.
Raise Awareness of MND
Our 2013 Awareness Month campaign is focussed around a film called I Am Breathing. The hard-hitting documentary tells the story of Neil Platt, who was diagnosed with MND just after his son, Oscar, was born.
Neil wanted to leave a legacy for Oscar and also raise awareness of MND. We hope that thousands of people will see the film on or after a special Global Screening Day, Friday 21 June, Global MND Awareness Day.The Association has joined forces with the film makers, the Scottish Documentary Institute, and with Neil’s family to make sure this powerful story is shared as widely as possible when the film is released during the Awareness Month in June 2013.
You can help fulfil Neil’s goal of raising awareness by hosting your own screening of I Am Breathing on 21 June 2013 – MND Global Awareness Day.