Advances in CT scanning
CT images in patients with implantable metal screws, plates and dental fillings can be difficult to interpret because the metal causes interference which obscures the bone. Our team has been developing new computer programs to improve the imaging of bones with the aim of aiding the assessment of the healing process and improving treatment.
Humans have two main forms of defence against infection. The first you are born with and is called the innate immune system. The second develops
after birth and is known as the acquired immune system. This provides a memory of all the infections we get throughout life.
The acquired immune system takes time to develop, so babies and children rely heavily on the innate immune system for their defence against infection. This makes them more vulnerable to infections than older children and adults.
It is hard to imagine the frustration of suddenly being unable to speak, but this is the unfortunate reality faced by thousands of throat cancer patients every year. As many as 50 per cent of people with throat cancer may need their voice box removed, which includes the vocal cords, meaning that air can no longer pass from their lungs into the throat and mouth to aid speech.
While most of us were contemplating another cold turkey sandwich, Action Medical Research’s tiniest campaigners were hard at work, gaining unprecedented media coverage for our Touching Tiny Lives Campaign over Christmas and the New Year. You might recognise twins Edmund and Aubrey Holdcroft, who were born nearly 15 weeks prematurely, but after their turbulent start in life, are now thriving, healthy one-year-olds.
Researchers at Newcastle Upon Tyne and Keele Universities have been working towards the development of a non-invasive test for ‘spasticity’. The three-year project followed on from previous Action Medical Research funding and involved measuring the involuntary, or reflex, responses of arm muscles in stroke patients, to study the altered muscle activity and identify key features of spasticity.
Proteins — essential to the human body
We all know that proteins have to be part of our diet; that both plants and animal foods contain protein, and that we, being animals, are partly made from protein. But what is a protein?
Following the success of last year’s ride, when 180 cyclists raised £275,000 for Action Medical Research, and due to popular demand for places, we are introducing a second route to give participants a choice in which roads will take them to the French capital in time to watch the finish of the Tour de France.
How important is research in this area?
People who have had injuries to the nervous system, like a stroke, depend on rehabilitation therapy to recover their independence. In the UK, loss of hand function after stroke is common, so we need to develop effective therapy programmes that can be individualised for a patient’s needs. To do this we need a comprehensive understanding of the disease process and the factors that contribute to disability and/or loss of independence.
“When I’m asked how cerebral palsy has affected me, I always have to think about my answer carefully, because there is very little that I can’t
do”, Julie says.
And when you learn that Julie is a working mother of two, living in Surrey with her husband, daughters aged nine and 13, two cats and a hamster, you realise that this must be true!
We are very proud that our first tribute fund has now been set up in honour of Lucy Netherway, baby daughter of Anne and John Netherway.
Lucy was born on the 23rd January 2005, a very beautiful baby girl. Never was a baby more wanted or loved, and for four joyous months you could not have met a more happy and contented family.
On the 20th May Lucy was taken ill, and her family’s life changed forever. They knew the road ahead would be difficult and uncertain but they lived in hope.
Osteoporosis causes weak bones that are prone to fracture. Figures show that in the UK 230,000 fractures every year are a direct result of the condition — usually affecting the wrist, spine and hip. Although sometimes thought of as a ‘woman’s condition’, new evidence shows that 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 is affected.
Now a team of researchers funded by Action Medical Research is making real progress towards a better understanding of the condition and what
makes some people more prone to fractures than others.
So, what are the ingredients that ensured their most successful lunch yet?
For Starters… sparing a thought for the Touching Tiny Lives Campaign. The guests were moved by an appeal from supporter Fiona Currie who talked about the baby daughter she lost.
The Main Course… a delicious fusion of food and fun.Take a generous helping of comic genius in the form of comedian Sanjeev Kholi, and blend
with all-girl band The She to warm up the crowd for what is to follow…
Central to our appeal to the UK to ‘Stand Up For Tiny Lives’ is the fact that funding for research to prevent premature birth and pregnancy complications is low; very low in fact.
That’s right — The Badgers are back to scale the dizzy heights of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in southern Spain, as they cycle routes designed for the pros of the elite cycling world on ‘La Vuelta del Tejón’ — Tour of the Badger, 17th — 21st May 2006.
What is developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD)?
DCD affects five to ten per cent of school-aged children in the UK. Despite having ‘normal’ intelligence and physical appearance, sufferers have poor co-ordination, and struggle with daily tasks such as using a knife and fork, writing neatly or dressing themselves. The condition can lead to educational under-achievement and behavioural problems, and most children need extra help both in school and at home.
Anna Murzell, Nigel Longden, John Butler, Gail Warren and Steven Robinson trained hard to be able to compete in the Three Peaks. Three of the five-strong team work for Andrew Kelly & Associates Estate Agency and were nominated for a prize in the national LMS and Negotiator Estate Agents in the Community Awards, where estate agencies are recognised for making a difference in their community. Our Manic Mountaineers were awarded the coveted first prize — a trophy and £500, which they generously donated to Action Medical Research.