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MND stem cell study identifies TDP-43 astrocytes as not toxic to motor neurones

Reading Time: 3 minutes Funded by the MND Association, international researchers have used stem cell technology to learn more about the relationship between motor neurones and their support cells. These findings highlight the potential of stem cell technology as a tool to create new human ‘in a dish’ cellular models of disease to learn more about the causes of…

Structure of C9ORF72 repeat identified by MND Association funded researchers

Reading Time: 4 minutes New exciting findings announced today provide the first insight into the structure and function of a repeated six letter genetic sequence in an MND gene called C9ORF72. Understanding the function of C9ORF72, and how it could go wrong to cause MND, could assist researchers in the future to identify potential treatments that target the disease.…

Of yeast and men: reducing toxic effects of TDP-43 as a potential treatment for MND

Reading Time: 4 minutes A collaborative American research group, led by Prof Aaron Gitler from Stanford University School of Medicine in California, has identified a potential therapeutic target for MND using yeast. The toxic activity of the MND-linked protein TDP-43 was suppressed when a gene called DBR1 was deleted from yeast and mammal cells. The study marks the first…

Encouraging NP001 clinical trial results for MND

Reading Time: 3 minutes Promising results from a Phase II clinical trial for a drug called NP001 have been announced by the biopharmaceutical company Neuraltus. The trial, conducted in America, suggested that NP001 is safe, well tolerated and could be beneficial for MND. Following these encouraging results, Neuraltus plan to begin a larger, Phase III trial of NP001 in the second half…

New fellowship explores how C9ORF72 causes MND

Reading Time: 4 minutes Dr Johnathan Cooper-Knock from the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) has been awarded with the fifth Medical Research Council (MRC)/MND Association Lady Edith Wolfson Clinical Research Fellowship. Through his three-year fellowship, Dr Cooper-Knock will use the MND Association’s DNA bank to study how recently discovered mistakes (known as mutations) in a gene called C9ORF72…

EPHA4 gene influences survival in MND

Reading Time: 3 minutes An international research group spanning seven countries and including 23 researchers has identified a gene that modifies survival in MND. The gene, called EPHA4 was identified through a zebrafish genetic screening project and verified in rodents and humans with MND. The study was led by Prof Wim Robberecht, who has previously been funded by the MND Association and who…

Profilin 1 identified as a cause of inherited MND

Reading Time: 3 minutes An MND causing gene called profilin 1 has been identified as the cause of about two percent of cases of inherited MND. This finding provides new insights into the causes of MND and suggests a potential role of the cellular scaffolding in MND. The finding was published in the 15 July edition of the prestigious journal Nature. This…

MND Association funded researcher Dr Martin Turner wins ENCALS Young Investigator Award

Reading Time: 2 minutes We’re pleased to announce that Dr Martin Turner has been awarded with the European Network for the Cure of ALS (ENCALS) Young Investigators Award 2012. Dr Turner was awarded with the MRC/ MND Association Lady Edith Wolfson Clinical Research Fellowship in 2008 for his study to identify biomarkers in MND (called BioMOx). Since then, Dr…