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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…

A stem cell route to the roots of MND

Reading Time: 7 minutes Nina Rzechorzek is based at the University of Edinburgh. In 2012 Nina’s article on Prof Siddharthan Chandran’s research was shortlisted for the Access to Understanding Competition. Here she gives an update on his stem cell research. It was a typical morning – trying to juggle experiments, trying not to make mistakes, trying hard to get…

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…

Using induced pluripotent stem cells to further our understanding of MND

Reading Time: 4 minutes Dr Jakub Scaber from the University of Oxford is our newest Medical Research Council (MRC)/ MND Association Lady Edith Wolfson Clinical Research Fellow. He is investigating how the newly identified C9orf72 gene causes MND in some individuals using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology. Researchers funded by the Association were amongst the first to create human…

Switching the light on for MND

Reading Time: 4 minutes MND Association-funded researcher, Prof Linda Greensmith, based at University College London, together with her collaborator Dr Ivo Lieberam from Kings College London, have introduced stem cell-derived motor neurones into mice. Published in the prestigious journal Science on 4 April 2014, her research has also demonstrated that muscle function can be controlled by light. Modelling MND…