Twitter and MND

With over 140 million active users Twitter has grown up a lot since it arrived in 2006. This means that Twitter can be an extremely powerful tool for engaging, influencing and reaching out to a wide range of audiences across the world.twitter-bird-blue-on-white

Twitter is a social network (like Facebook and Google+) which allows you to network and engage with other users.

Anyone who knows me is well aware that I am a very keen advocate of Twitter. I believe Twitter is an excellent tool for engaging with, and getting people excited about science.

As a researcher Twitter can be used to promote and publicise your research (without having to travel to international conferences) and it also enables the public to raise awareness of important issues (like MND awareness month) and engage with the scientific and research community (@ALSuntangled)

As a researcher, Twitter can be used to promote and publicise your research (without having to
travel to international conferences) and find out what’s going on in your field – ‘listening rather than talking’ to your peers.
For more examples of why researchers should be using Twitter please see the post on our Research and Care Community Blog (ReCCoB) ‘Why you should be using Twitter’

Get involved

Our ‘Get Started on Twitter today!’ blog post also on ReCCoB explains how to join Twitter in five easy to follow steps. It covers everything from picking a name, deciding who to follow and sending your first tweet!

To get you started here’s some good examples of Twitter accounts to follow:

Raising awareness of MND through Association of British Neurology meeting

A few days ago Professor Karen Morrison rang me. Karen is the director of the Birmingham care centre. She is also one of the principal investigators on our DNA bank project. After giving me an update how she was helping to resolve an issue with the DNA bank, Karen mentioned in passing that she had been at the Association of British Neurologist’s (ABN) meeting the week before.

The aim of the ABN is to improve the health and well-being of people with neurological disorders by advancing the knowledge and practice of neurology in the British Isles. I heard that their annual meeting was taking place last week, so I asked her how it went. I was glad I did! It seems that there was a star* of MND neurologists giving presentations at the four day meeting which took place in Bournemouth.

There was a both a workshop and a teaching session on motor neurone disease. These covered talks on diagnosing MND, managing the symptoms of MND, causes of MND and the cellular mechanisms involved. The workshop was so crowded that they ran out of seats! So awareness of MND of those attending will have definitely been raised!

Professor Michael Swash, a neurologist specialising in MND who has previously chaired our Research Advisory Panel as well as being a former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the MND Association, was awarded the ABN medal this year. The medal is awarded annually to recognise outstanding contributions by British neurologists to the science or practice of neurology, or for contributions to the Association. This news was the icing on the cake!

I hope that this awareness raising will go some way to encourage neurologists to act on their new knowledge, both in terms of caring for people with MND and in keeping up to date with MND research.

*I don’t know that there is a collective noun for neurologists that specialise in MND, but ‘a star of neurologists’ seems quite appropriate – what do you think? Please leave a comment and let us know!