Known as Caroll to her friends and family,
Caroline experienced her first epileptic
seizure when she was just 14 years of
age. At first the seizures were put down
to puberty, and despite repeated fits and
visits to doctors, her condition went
Caroline recalls, “Epilepsy had a major
effect on my life from the start. All the
things that other teenagers could do
were full of risks for me — drinking
alcohol, going to parties and discos with
flashing lights. I passed my driving test
before epilepsy was diagnosed, but had
to give that up soon after.”
Thanks to a £90,000 Research Training
Fellowship grant from Action Medical
Research, Dr Angela Deakin has been able
to reveal detailed new information about
the structure and properties of tendons.
Tragically, around 1,600 babies die each year as a result of being born too early.
Action Medical Research believes this
devastating death toll can’t be allowed
to continue. That’s why the Charity is
working hard to tackle prematurity, and
is calling on the Government to do
Around ten per cent of very premature babies (born before
32 weeks of pregnancy) die before their first birthday. Reducing
the risk of premature birth is vital, but very little is actually
known about why some babies are born so early. Pregnant
women have few guidelines on how to avoid going into labour
Researchers at the University of Leicester have recently
discovered that women from the most deprived areas are
twice as likely to give birth very prematurely as women from
the most affluent areas.
The relief from Income Tax is available
for the full market value of the shares
on the date of disposal. In other words,
you will not pay Income Tax on the
equivalent amount of your annual
income in the tax year that the gift
For example, if you are a higher rate
taxpayer and make a gift of £1,000
worth of shares to Action Medical
Research, you would receive Income
Tax relief of 40 per cent of the full
value, i.e. £400. This effectively means
the donation has cost only £600.
Peter Little and Louise Cartledge have
committed support to our Preventing
the Pain of Chronic Conditions
programme area for a three year
period. They said,”We are proud to be
founding Action Partners, supporting
essential research to prevent the pain of
chronic conditions. We hope that our
donations mean that we will be there at
the next breakthrough.”
These stars were displayed on our
Christmas tree here at Head Office.
We had a wonderful response. It may
seem like a long time ago now, but we
wanted to say thank you to everyone
who returned their star. We were
extremely touched by their messages of
hope, love and remembrance.
We also thank all those who made a
donation — a fantastic festive total of
£8,100 was raised.
Organisers are delighted to report
proceeds in the region of £90,000 from
the most recent lunch, which took place
in November last year. As one of Action
Medical Research’s biggest fundraising
events, the lunch has gone from strength
to strength, with funds raised in 2006
reaching an all-time high.
Researchers already know that the
way cells communicate is crucial
to the wound healing process, and
that in diabetic wounds, cell to cell communication is abnormal,
which may contribute to slow healing.
Dr David Becker and his colleagues at University College
London have shown that they can modify communication
between cells in a wound by applying a bioactive gel they’ve
developed called Nexagon. In laboratory tests, Nexagon, the
first gel of its kind, was seen to speed up healing and reduce
scarring in a variety of fresh cuts and burns in healthy tissue.
Action Medical Research’s Press Office
has been busy over the last few months,
getting the national media interested in
both our medical research, and Touching
Tiny Lives campaigning work.
At the end of 2006 we launched one
of our largest ever stories, challenging the
Government over the lack of funding
devoted to preventing premature baby
death.The story featured exclusive figures
we had uncovered from the Department
of Health, showing that, during 2004-5,
the Government had spent only £3.7
million on medical research targeted at
preventing premature birth.
Some of the most significant advances in
medicine have occurred in the field of
imaging. It started with X-rays at the end
of the 19th Century, and now there is a
large variety of methods which allow the
non-invasive examination of almost any
part of the body.
Some of the methods can produce
three-dimensional images, some can
detect particular chemical reactions and
“see” detail which would be invisible to
the eye, even if the structure inside the
body were exposed surgically.
Seventy per cent of people who use catheters long-term suffer
distressing complications — a shocking statistic. Many contract
infections, which can sometimes become life-threatening.
Long-term catheter use is highly problematic. The bags that
collect the urine can be heavy, smelly and difficult to disguise
under clothing, making many patients feel undignified. Up
to half of users find that their catheter gets blocked, causing
leaking or painful retention of urine, and emergency visits to a nurse to clear the blockage can be exhausting and traumatic.
Estimates suggest that about seven million people of all ages
sustain significant fractures every year in the UK. Complex
fractures are very difficult to treat, and patients often need
extensive surgery. Treatments vary according to the nature of
the break and any disruption to the bone’s blood supply, which
is crucial for proper healing.
Every year, around 700,000 women give birth in the UK. During pregnancy, mothers need to be monitored so that doctors can make sure both they and their babies are safe and sound. Now, a novel device is set to change the monitoring of unborn babies, revealing new information to doctors straight from babies hearts. This new technology is the culmination of over 15 years of close collaboration between engineers and doctors at The University of Nottingham.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is an
incurable brain condition, which
progressively affects a person’s ability to
walk, talk, think and reason. Some who
carry the faulty gene develop symptoms
in their thirties, others in their fifties,
and some — a lucky few — do not suffer
the effects of the disease at all. The
reasons for these differences are
Two years ago Touching Lives reported
on research investigating the geneticfaults which cause HD, and we can now provide an update.
Paddington has kept busy in the
intervening years, featuring in many more
books and making his television debut
in the 1970s. The first Paddington toys
were manufactured in 1971, with bears
dressed in classic duffle coats, felt hats
and Wellington boots. Since then he has
also appeared on postage stamps, in theatre shows and museum exhibitions.
Occupational dystonia is a condition that
can develop where certain types of
repetitive movement cause involuntary
muscle spasms of the hand. Between five
and ten per cent of professional musicians
suffer from it, but are often reluctant to
talk publicly about the problem because
of the impact it can have on their career.
There have been various studies into
dystonia, but a £92,000 grant from
Action Medical Research has helped fund
a breakthrough in our understanding of
the condition and potential therapies
that can counter it.
Through the scheme we will receive £1
for every recycled inkjet cartridge and
up to £10 for a mobile phone.
The Recycling Factory has a proven
track record, working with several high
profile charities including Childline and
Taking part in the scheme costs you
absolutely nothing, and all materials and
postage are entirely free. You will find a
recycling envelope inside this magazine —
simply place your old mobile phone or
ink cartridge in the envelope and pop it
in the post.
They are also particularly susceptible to having a small
baby with an abnormally low birth weight, and to giving
Effects on the baby can be devastating. For example, very
small babies are 60 per cent more likely to suffer health problems
or to die at birth. Many need neonatal intensive care, and can
go on to suffer lifelong disabilities. Research also shows that
babies with low birth weight are at increased risk of suffering
long-term health problems that begin later in life, such as heart
disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Over 100,000 people in England and Wales suffer their first
stroke each year. About one third of those who survive are left
with permanent disabilities, such as paralysis or weakness, often
in the arms or hands. Everyday tasks like getting dressed and
eating can become difficult or impossible.
Rehabilitative therapy can help, but many people find their
symptoms stabilise after about six months, and many stroke
patients rely on the help of carers.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the
amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is
too high because the body cannot use it
properly. Glucose enters the blood
through the digestion of starchy and
sweet foods, and from the liver, which
Our pancreas produces insulin, a
hormone that helps glucose to enter
the cells where it is used as fuel by the
body. In people with diabetes this
doesn’t happen properly, and treatment
The funds are going from strength to
strength, and have already raised over
£9,000. ^Thank you and well done to all
those family members and friends who
have been so busy supporting these
We are also delighted that Professors
Callaghan and Easton have been able to
restart a research project begun by Dr
Wendy Stannard. Wendy, who had been
researching pneumonia in children, has a
Tribute Fund set up in her memory.
Why did you decide to give to charity in this way?
During my lifetime
but after my death my favourite charities
will gain from a gift in my Will. As Action
Medical Research is all about saving
life and improving the quality of life, it
appeals to me that many others will be
able to benefit through my death.
Between five and ten per cent of the
UK school-age population suffers from
developmental coordination disorder
(sometimes called dyspraxia). That means
there’s probably one child in every
classroom in the UK who, despite having
normal intelligence, needs extra help
with tasks such as handwriting.
Though parents often suspect a
problem early on, getting an accurate
diagnosis can take time, and ensuring
adequate support at school can be
very difficult. Primary school can
be tough enough — but it’s at
secondary school that the difficulties
can become acute.