Growing brain cells in 3D to study MND

Growing brain cells in 3D to study MND

Reading Time: 5 minutes My current work focuses on looking at the cell types that are affected in MND and how they impact each other. Motor neurons, the main cell type affected in MND, connect our brains and muscles. This connection is what allows us to move. In MND, these cells start to die, which is what leads to progressive paralysis. But motor neurons aren’t the only cell types affected by MND. They are surrounded by many more cells called glia, which have roles in keeping our motor neurons healthy.

Do retroviruses contribute to the common, sporadic form of MND?

Reading Time: 2 minutes New research from scientists at the American National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda suggest that they might. In a research paper published in Science Translational Medicine yesterday, Li, Nath and colleagues proposed that sporadic MND may be linked to an endogenous retrovirus called ‘HERV-K’. So they conducted a series of experiments to…

A taste of Brussels…

Reading Time: 3 minutes On 4 November, we welcomed two of our funded researchers to our offices in Northampton. Ruxandra Mutihac and Matt Gabel gave us a ‘taste’ of what’s to come for this year’s 25th International Symposium on ALS/MND, by speaking to us about their research. The symposium is the World’s largest MND-specific research conference and is now only two weeks away!

AGM Question

Reading Time: 5 minutes A question was submitted to the Association’s AGM last weekend, which could only be answered in brief at the time, due to the number of issues raised, some of which are of a technical nature. Below is a more detailed response from the Association’s Director of Research (in bold italics) to each point raised.

Very ‘ice’ research

Reading Time: 3 minutes The ALS #icebucketchallenge, which started in America, has now well and truly hit the UK! The social media craze has seen thousands of people getting involved in raising awareness of ‘ALS’( the most common form of MND), and funds for the Association, by placing a bucket of ice-cold water over their heads. But what happens…

From research to medical therapy – how research has moved on in the past 40 years

Reading Time: 4 minutes Dr Ruth Standring-Cox BSc DPhil explains about her link with MND and her research experience, including how research has moved on in the past 40 years. After successfully negotiating the “paternoster lifts” in the old Biochemistry building at Oxford University I reached the MRC Immunochemistry Unit on the 4th floor. This was 1975 and the…