Sometimes, presenters’ reactions to hearing that they’ve been given a poster presentation, rather than a talk is that of disappointment. I disagree. I feel it is a great opportunity to have a more in depth two way discussion than is ever possible during the 2-3 minutes allocated to questions after a talk.
There are over 200 posters being presented at this International Symposium. Before heading anywhere near the room where they’re on display I mark off a selection of posters to visit. Sometimes they are topics I know something about, or people that I know – for example MND Association grantees, or I sometimes choose topics that I don’t know anything about – the latter to find just what they are about. In one blog post (and the time available to write it) I can’t do justice to the topics that I did learn more about, but here is a bit of a taster:
Split hand wasting – this definitely fell into the latter category above! Two posters reported on how two quite closely connected muscles in your hand waste at different rates in people with MND. (The muscle groups are the thenar muscles and the abductor digiti minimum in case you want to look them up). Parvathi Menon’s poster established that it may be possible to use the ratio of the two different muscles as a way to diagnose MND and as a possible biomarker. Jocelyn Zwicker’s study investigated the electrophysiological nature of this observation.
Early conclusions from Neuralstem safety clinical trial included: Injections in the lumbar section of the spinal cord are well tolerated by people with MND are various disease stages. Participants experienced significant discomfort from the stomach / GI effects of the immunosuppressant drugs they received. Permission has been given by the FDA to advance the trial to cervical sections of the spinal cord, neuroprotection at this level may help with diaphragm function.
Does riluzole have an affect on Dexpramipexole?: Using the results from the previous, phase II, clinical trial for dexpramipexole, the authors described how the use of riluzole and dexpramipexole neither adds to, nor takes away from the effect of dexpramipexole on survival or progression. They conclude that it would be useful to confirm this in the phase III clinical trial currently underway across multiple sites across the world.
Read our official press release on day two of the symposium.