We know that neck weakness can be a difficult symptom to manage in people with MND, and that the current offering of neck collars and supports do not always suit everyone. In order to come up with a solution to this, we are funding Dr Chris McDermott from the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) to develop a new type of neck support for people with MND (our reference: 928-794).
Designers, health professionals and engineers, along with people with MND, have developed a new support called the Sheffield Support Snood. The Snood is an adaptable neck collar, which can be modified to offer support where the wearer requires it most.
The Snood was initially tested in 26 people living with MND in 2014. The current stage of the project, called the Heads Up project, will evaluate the Snood in around 150 people. This will contribute towards providing the necessary wider consumer testing of the Snood, which in turn will help when looking for a commercial partner to take on the manufacture of this product.
The project, which is being managed by Liz Pryde and Lise Sproson from Devices for Dignity, is looking for people with MND to take part. So far 55 people have been recruited to the study. They are each testing the Snood for one month, and giving feedback afterwards on how they found it.
A few participants from the study are also giving additional information about their experiences of taking part in the study. Early feedback from the study is also being taken to designers to possibly incorporate into future versions of the Snood.
The 10 UK centres taking part in the study, and details of how to get involved, are listed on our website. Recruitment is happening up until the end of September.
For the latest news on the study follow the MND meerkat Bruno on Twitter.
Throughout June 2016 MND Awareness Month will be highlighting the rapid progression of the disease in its powerful Shortened Stories campaign, sharing the experiences of people currently living with MND, or who have lost loved ones to the disease, through art, poetry and film.