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Talks at the 5th UCLP MS Research Day 14th June 2014

An opportunity for all those who couldn't make the 5th UCL Partners MS research day held on the 14th June at The Grange St Pauls in Central London to catch up, or even for those who did to re-cap on the excellent range of talks given by MS specialists across the UCL Partners (UCLP) Group. Videos of these talks and PDFs of the Presentation Slides with Question & Answer Transcripts are included on this website.

The morning started with a warm welcome from Dr Chataway followed by a breakdown of the day ahead from Prof Giovannoni. Prof Miller then got straight into the talks looking at some of the possible treatments working their way through the research and approval systems at the moment.  This was followed by a look at the pathology behind why people with MS feel fatigue, when Susan Hourihan emphasised that fatigue in MS is not just a state of mind but a common and poorly understood symptom of MS.

The next talk was on the lab research by Prof David Baker, who has an entertaining way of making the science a bit amusing. Dr Ben Turner then brought us up to date with what's happening with research into progressive MS with reassurance that this has moved to up the research agenda, including a large international grouping called The Progressive MS Alliance helping to boost research in this area.

What better place to have a talk about diet but just before lunch with a double act from Jeremy Chataway and Dr. Hayley Moroney looking at diet and MS and of course the latest research on Vitamin D. 

In the afternoon Dr. Claudia Wheeler-Kingshott covered the topic of remyelination and repair with lots of MR images to explain what the physicists are doing to try and help understand MS and to develop imaging measures that can show when drugs are able to cause remyelination. 

There followed another talk on science in the lab by Prof Ken Smith who discussed the diverse symptoms of MS and their causes. He used videos to show how a "fatigue" response occurs in nerve fibres that have lost their myelin such that they may no longer conduct nerve signals properly.  Then Dr. Jalesh Panicker explained the reasons why the bladder function is affected in people with MS. He also explained the ways that bladder symptoms can be managed, including the use of a very small catheter.

Anneka and Noreen explained the role of the MS Specialist nurses, who are there to help from first diagnosis onwards, helping people through the ups and downs including managing relapses, discussing treatment options and self-help techniques. Gavin Giovannoni gave his views on why MS still hasn’t been cured and finally the day was summed up by Dr Raj Kapoor.

During the day people also had the opportunity to chat informally to members of the UCL Partners MS team, and to representatives from the MS Society and the MS Trust and to see what information was available to take away. Rod Middleton was there to encourage people to sign up to the UK MS Register, explaining both the online self-completion section and the option to consent for your MS consultant to enter the clinical data held (all completely confidential).

Videos were running from the Movement for Hope Team who raise money using arts media for people with neurological conditions. Not forgetting the fun interaction from Alison Thompson and the Digesting Science Team who showed how to make an optic nerve from sweets and much more.