Celebration of research impact highlights MND research

Professor Sharon Abrahams' research into motor neurone disease was highlighted at a University event celebrating knowledge exchange and impact activities

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS) at the University celebrated knowledge exchange and impact activities of researchers and collaborators at an event last month.

External organisations from charities, businesses and third sector organisations attended the event which highlighted projects demonstrating the value of partnerships, as well as the value of researchers to achieve real impact.

Working with partners in all fields is crucial for the University to achieve its ambition to make the world a better place. We believe that by exploring, challenging and learning together we can make a real impact on the world, and train our graduates to make a critical difference.

Professor Peter MathiesonUniversity of Edinburgh Principal

Demonstrating the impact of MND research

Among the highlighted projects was Professor Sharon Abrahams' research into motor neurone disease (MND), which led to NICE and the MND Association changing their guidelines. 

Psychology researchers Professor Sharon Abrahams and Dr Thomas Bak developed the Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen (ECAS) with colleagues from the Euan MacDonald Centre.

The Euan MacDonald Centre

It was created to help healthcare professionals assess patients with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) for changes in cognition and/or behaviour. MND is also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Cognitive changes - changes in thinking, learning and behaviour - may be present even before the onset of physical symptoms and occur in roughly 50% of people with MND.

Launched in 2018, the ECAS website for health professionals and researchers provides information about the ECAS, links to download materials, information on accessing training, as well as the latest ECAS news and publications.

ECAS - Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen

More information

Watch postdoctoral researcher Faith Hodgins describe her work training healthcare professionals to use the ECAS.