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Lithium revisited: Is there a baby in the bathwater?

Reading Time: 3 minutes At last year’s Airlie House workshop to develop new ALS/MND Clinical Trial Guidelines the focus was, of course, on MND, but there was also important input and learning from outside the field. One of the most fascinating presentations was from an oncologist who was explaining how detailed genetic analysis of tumours was leading to an understanding…

Identifying the genetic causes of MND in specific populations

Reading Time: 2 minutes Dr Russell McLaughlin from Trinity College Dublin is one of our Junior Non-Clinical Fellows. Our Non-Clinical Fellowships were awarded for the first time last year. They aim to retain and develop early and mid-career MND researchers conducting biomedical research. These fellowships are funded for up to four years. We are currently funding two junior and…

More clues to the inner workings of the C9orf72 gene

Reading Time: 2 minutes Continuing the ‘gene hunting theme’ on from our last blog post on Project MinE, a recently published study has shed more light on the C9orf72 gene mutation. The C9orf72 gene mutation is the most common cause of the rare inherited form of MND (about 40% of all people with inherited MND have this mutation). Some…

Looking for MND genes: Project MinE update

Reading Time: 3 minutes Project MinE is an international genetics project that is analysing DNA from people with MND in detail. For the majority of people with MND, the disease appears ‘sporadically’ for no apparent reason. For a small number of people, approximately 5-10% of those with MND there is an inherited link, in other words the disease runs in…

Baking with proteins, mRNA and DNA

Reading Time: < 1 minute Today marks the start of MND Awareness month 2014 and our MND Research ‘blog a day’. Before we post our first guest blog we thought we’d set the scene by reminding you about genes and proteins. As our fundraising campaign ‘Bake it!’ is back for 2014, we thought we’d re-blog our ‘baking with proteins, mRNA…

Same disease.. two very different mice!

Reading Time: 4 minutes The exact course, duration and rate of progression of MND often varies greatly from person to person; even when there is a known family history of the disease caused by a specific MND-causing gene (eg SOD1). This same variability also occurs in mice. Researchers, funded by the MND Association, took two mice with the same SOD1…