Centre member wins British neurology prize

Arpan speaking at the ABN

May 2019: We’re delighted that Dr Arpan Mehta, has won the Charles Symonds Prize for best poster presentation at the Association of British Neurologists 2019 Annual Meeting.

Arpan’s winning poster was titled ‘Dysregulated axonal homeostasis in C9orf72 ALS motor neurones’.

For his research, Arpan uses state-of-the art human stem cell and gene editing technology to study motor neurones ‘in a dish’ developed from people with MND.  The C9orf72 repeat expansion is the commonest known gene mutation which causes MND. It is estimated that 13% of people with MND have this gene mutation. However, work is ongoing to identify further genes and every year more genes relevant to MND are discovered.

About his research and poster presentation, Arpan said:

“I have found that there is a defect in the wiring of the motor neurones from people with this mutation. 

Astonishingly, although only a fraction of a millimetre thick, motor neurones can cover a distance well over a metre.  It is perhaps no surprise that the problem may lie within these microscopic wires.  I have found that the wires are shorter and that transport of tiny cellular components up and down these wires is impaired. 

My next steps are to try to better understand the reasons for these problems and, ultimately, try to remedy them.”

Posters are created by researchers to be displayed at conferences so fellow researchers from other organisations can learn about their ongoing work and research findings.  To be a finalist or win an award for your poster is recognition of excellence in your field.

Arpan’s research is jointly funded by the MND Association and the Medical Research Council.

Related links

Arpan Mehta’s profile on the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic website

Association of British Neurologists

MND Association

Medical Research Council

This article was published on: Thursday, May 30, 2019