Clinical Trials (Part 2) – Posters: Highlights from Perth

This blog is part of the ‘Highlights from Perth’ collection of articles, where you can read about the content of some of the talks and posters presented at the 30th International Symposium on ALS/MND in Perth.

With this years International Symposium on ALS/MND now behind us, it is time to reflect on some of the news that was presented by researchers.

Researchers are invited to present their work as either a platform (oral) presentation or as a poster. Results and updates from several clinical trials of potential new treatments for MND were presented as posters, and some of these have also found their way into various online news articles. This blog will look at some of these results and their potential as new treatments for MND.Read More »

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 »

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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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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How animals are helping to improve our understanding of MND

‘From antibiotics and insulin to blood transfusions and treatments for cancer or HIV, virtually every medical achievement in the past century has depended directly or indirectly on research using animals’ – from the Royal Society’s position statement on the use of animals in research.

We know that talking about using animals in research is an emotive topic. We appreciate that some people will never accept that using animals in research is necessary, and we understand that it is not our place to try and influence anyone’s opinion on the use of animals in research. The purpose of this blog is to explore how using animal models of MND can further our understanding of this devastating disease, and how animals make it possible for potential new treatments for the disease to move forward into clinical trials in people.Read More »

Drug repurposing – harnessing the positive side effects of ‘old school’ drugs

Is it possible that a drug that treats congestive heart failure could improve respiration in people with MND? Or that a drug used to treat cancer could reduce motor neuron inflammation and possibly slow progression of the disease? In this blog we take a look at drug repurposing – using a drug developed to treat a particular disease to treat another that is unrelated – what it is, and what it might mean for people living with MND.Read More »

Cannabis-based products for medicinal use

In November 2018 the Home Office released a draft Guideline scope for Cannabis-based products for medicinal use in which they announced that specialist doctors (like consultant neurologists) on the Special Register of the General Medical Council will be able to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products to some patients. Before this, the only cannabis-based medicines licensed for use in the UK were nabiximols (Sativex), used as a treatment for spasticity (where muscles are continuously contracted, causing stiffness or tightness of the muscles, interfering with normal movement and speech), in multiple sclerosis (MS).Read More »

The effects of ashwagandha in a SOD1 mouse model of MND

The research team frequently gets asked about the effectiveness of alternative therapies and their use as treatments for MND. Here we report on a recent paper that looked at the effects of ashwagandha, or Indian ginseng, in a SOD1 mouse model of MND.

For around 3000 years Withania somnifera (WS), commonly known as ashwagandha or Indian ginseng, has been used in Ayurvedic and indigenous medicine around the world, and is thought to have powerful rejuvenating and life-prolonging qualities. But there is increasing evidence which suggests that the plant extracts (root, leaf or fruit) also have neuroprotective properties, and this has been demonstrated in several models of neurodegenerative diseases including MND.Read More »