Technology and MND: Highlights from Glasgow

This blog is part of the ‘Highlights from Glasgow’ collection of articles, where you can read about the content of some of the talks and posters presented at the 29th International Symposium on ALS/MND.

Where to start on a subject as wide and varied as technology and MND?

Indeed, this problem is not just limited to a simple blog post, it is a challenge for us as an MND charity faced with a proliferation of potentially beneficial technological developments in smartphones, wheelchairs, and exoskeletons to name but a few.

Fortunately, there is a fundamental question that can help us make sense of it all and it is a question that stems from our Association values – What does this mean for people with MND? I’ll be trying to answer this question as part of my summary of technology talks from our 29th International Symposium.

Much of the content that was presented related to the use of technology in clinical trials, so let’s start by considering clinical trials and what we want from them:

  • We want them to be efficient and report results quickly – this means they will be cheaper, so we can do more of them and secure a cure or effective treatment for MND more quickly.
  • We also want the trials to be reliable and give accurate results whilst allowing as much patient participation as possible.
  • Above all, we want trials to translate into tangible change such as clinical developments that improve quality of life or the introduction of an effective treatment for MND.

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Assistive technology and the power of voice

4 b (3)Our general election campaign for 2015 is featured around communication because we believe that nobody should have to lose their voice to MND. The afternoon session on Friday 5 December during the 25th International Symposium on ALS/MND also focussed on this topic.

Around 80-95% of people living with MND will face communication problems as their speech deteriorates. Through local and national campaigning we can give people living with MND a voice; be it signing the MND Charter or by influencing the 2015 general election campaign. Read More »

Giving voice to people living with MND: Voice Banking

Phillipa Rewaj, Rebecca Devon and Shuna Colville from the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research, University of Edinburgh, help us celebrate Global MND Awareness day. This year’s theme is ‘voice’ and here the researchers provide us with an update on their pioneering ‘voicebanking project’, which is part-funded by the MND Association.

 

Ring ring….ring ring….

“Hello?”

“Hi there, it’s me.”

“Oh hello dear, how nice to hear from you!”

 

Sound familiar? How many of your friends or family could you recognise from a few words of their voice? Two, five, ten or more?

It may have never previously occurred to you, but our voices are as unique as our face shape, our walk and even our eyes. A person’s voice is an essential component of his or her identity.

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