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New discovery reveals why mysterious genetic variant impacts ALS severity

New discovery reveals why mysterious genetic variant impacts ALS severity

Reading Time: 4 minutes My name is Oscar Wilkins and I am a PhD student working with Professors Pietro Fratta (recipient of a MND Association Research Fellowship) and Jernej Ule. Recently, in collaboration with Sarah Hill and Michael Ward, a team led by PhD student Anna-Leigh Brown, postdoctoral researcher Matt Keuss and myself uncovered a promising new target for…

Connecting Patient Data and Artificial Intelligence to Advance MND Research

Connecting Patient Data and Artificial Intelligence to Advance MND Research

Reading Time: 5 minutes “The search for new drugs to help MND patients is a long and challenging one, but it is one where we are beginning to see hope for the future emerging on several fronts. New Artificial Intelligence (AI) data analysis techniques and larger, more detailed collections of patient data have been pivotal in these advances.” Dr…

Updates on Tofersen Trials for SOD1-MND

Updates on Tofersen Trials for SOD1-MND

Reading Time: 7 minutes Global biotechnology company Biogen has announced plans to make tofersen, a potential treatment for people whose MND is believed to be driven by mutations in the SOD1 gene, available to more people on an early access programme. Biogen have also revealed that they are conducting a new Phase 3 clinical trial of tofersen in those…

Star Cells dance and film event increases MND research awareness

Star Cells dance and film event increases MND research awareness

Reading Time: 3 minutes We were delighted to be invited to take part in ‘Star Cells’, a science-inspired performance art project in support of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, one of the events held last week to mark Global MND Awareness Day on 21 June. Inspired by the exciting and ground-breaking research into neuroscience taking place at the Francis…

Physical exercise as a risk factor for MND – is it in our genes?

Physical exercise as a risk factor for MND – is it in our genes?

Reading Time: 5 minutes A potential link between exercise and MND has long been a topic of conversation and debate. Several studies have been carried out, but the discovery of a link has not been conclusively shown. Some have shown an association, but it is important to note that association is very different from cause. Studies that use questionnaire-based…

Examining the effects of the compound NU-9 in MND mice

Examining the effects of the compound NU-9 in MND mice

Reading Time: 4 minutes A research paper published recently has investigated the effect of a compound called ‘NU-9’ in mice models of MND. Before we go on, it is important to define ‘compound’ in this context. A compound is something that has pharmacological or biological activity that is likely to be therapeutically useful. It serves as a starting point…

Should routine genetic testing be considered for all cases of MND?

Should routine genetic testing be considered for all cases of MND?

Reading Time: 9 minutes A paper arising from research carried out at the University of Sheffield as part of the AMBRoSIA biobank, and in collaboration with the international Project MinE gene-hunting consortium, was recently published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. Researchers propose that a test for the most common MND genes could be offered to all…

Boosting energy in nerve cells is a promising target for MND treatments

Boosting energy in nerve cells is a promising target for MND treatments

Reading Time: 3 minutes A study conducted by researchers at the Euan MacDonald Centre at the University of Edinburgh has shed light on how improving the function of mitochondria – the power supply of nerve cells – could be a potential treatment for motor neurone disease, paper published this week in the journal, Acta Neuropathologica (2021). This study paves…