Edinburgh Science Festival MND Event

Edinburgh Science festival image on a conference stage and speakers sat in front

Apr 2019: We were delighted to be part of the Edinburgh Science Festival at an event hosted by MND Scotland. 

On Thursday night (18th April) we took to the stage in the auditorium of the National Museum of Scotland for ‘The Motor Neurone Disease Research Revolution.’

After an introduction on MND from Professor Sharon Abrahams, first up were neurologist Dr Suvankar Pal and National MND Lead Nurse Judy Newton. Suvankar and Judy explained how a nationwide platform called CARE-MND puts Scotland in a prime position to start clinical trials.

Professor Tom Gillingwater spoke next about strategies to develop new treatments for MND and how studying different forms of MND can help. Tom’s presentation was followed Dr Chris Henstridge who spoke about the incredible complexity of the brain, and the research that he’s doing to measure changes in the connections between nerve cells (synapses) using ultra high-power imaging and biochemistry. His use of fruit baskets to explain synapses research was a fabulous way to breakdown the complexities of neuroscience for a general public audience.

The final presentation came from Professor Sharon Abrahams who spoke of her research findings on how the brain changes caused by MND also affect thinking and behaviour. She gave particular focus to apathy (lack of interest or enthusiasm) amongst people living with MND.

The evening was rounded off by some excellent questions from the audience which delved deeper into the different areas of research and the disease.

It was great to give a new audience a flavour of some of the amazing MND research going on in Scotland today and convey the sense of hope that we feel about making a positive difference for people with this devastating condition.

We’re very grateful to MND Scotland for their research funding and for hosting the event.

Related links

MND Scotland

Edinburgh Science Festival

This article was published on: Tuesday, April 23, 2019