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A Summary of the news from the 23rd International symposium on ALS/MND

Reading Time: 2 minutes Each year we proudly organise the International Symposium on ALS/MND, and this year was a record breaker! The symposium was held in Chicago where over 900 clinicians, scientists and healthcare professionals attended the three-day event. With 86 international speakers and over 300 posters we managed to write about it all in just over 5,000 words in our daily articles on this blog. Here’s a brief guide…

Vive la difference!

Reading Time: 3 minutes It could be easy to assume that one motor neurone is pretty much like another, but a series of presentations on Thursday clearly showed that we need to be a little more sophisticated in our thinking. Dr Hynek Wichterle (Columbia University) discussed how in the developing embryo, there are distinct regional subtypes of motor neurones…

Reflections on the poster session

Reading Time: 4 minutes In Chicago, it’s the beginning of the third day of the International Symposium on ALS/MND. I feel that I’ve become almost institutionalised: I get up, have breakfast and head down to the ‘Ballroom’ floor of the hotel. After saying a few hellos, I’ll head to my chosen session, settle down, get my notepad out and…

The clinical trials session

Reading Time: 3 minutes A very much ‘must report on’ session of the 23rd International Symposium on ALS/MND was the clinical trials and trial design session. There are many reasons that make this an interesting session – perhaps the most eagerly anticipated were the presentations on the NP001 study and the results of the stem cell safety trial: NP001…

Mastering Pac-Man

Reading Time: 3 minutes Growing up in a seaside town in the 1980s led to me spending a lot of my “formative years” in the local amusement arcades, playing iconic video games like Space Invaders (at which I was average) and Asteroids  (I was the kid to beat!). One game I never got the hang of was Pac Man,…

A prize-winning story worth repeating

Reading Time: 2 minutes Many congratulations to Rosa Rademakers from Mayo Clinic Florida USA, winner of this year’s Paulo Gontijo Young Investigator award. She won the award for her work on co-discovering the gene defect in C9orf72. As part of her prize (in addition to a medal and a cheque to continue her work) she gave an overview of…

Nature, nurture, genetics and / or chance – what causes MND?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Trying to understand what the different underlying factors are towards developing MND has always been a goal for ALS research. MND Association funded researcher and clinician Professor Ammar Al-Chalabi from King’s College London, gave a talk on this topic at the opening session of the 23rd International Symposium on ALS/MND in Chicago. A record number of…