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ForeFront

RESEARCH CENTRE

The Motor Neurone Disease Behaviour Scale (MiND)

The Motor Neurone Disease Behaviour Scale (MiND-B) is a valid, sensitive and short instrument that detects and quantifies behavioural changes in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). It measures three behavioural domains: apathy, disinhibition and stereotypical behaviour. The questionnaire contains 9 questions with a total score of 36, which higher scores denoting absence or very mild behavioural symptoms. The MiND-B can be completed by a caregiver/family member or clinician.

The MiND instrument and scoring guide can be downloaded below:

MiND-B Administration (PDF)
MiND-B Scoring Guide (PDF)

References
Wear, H.J., et al., The Cambridge Behavioural Inventory revised. Dementia & Neuropsychologia, 2008. 2(2): p. 102-107.
Neumann, M., et al., Ubiquitinated TDP-43 in frontotemporal lobar degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Science, 2006. 314(5796): p. 130-3.
Lillo, P., et al., Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia: A behavioural and cognitive continuum. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, 2012. 13(1): p. 102-9.
Lillo, P., et al., Grey and white matter changes across the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-frontotemporal dementia continuum. PLoS ONE, 2012. 7(8): p. e43993.
Stewart, H., et al., Clinical and pathological features of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis caused by mutation in the C9ORF72 gene on chromosome 9p. Acta Neuropathologica, 2012. 123(3): p. 409-17.
Mioshi, E., et al., Neuropsychiatric changes precede classic motor symptoms in ALS and do not affect survival. Neurology, 2014. 82(2): p. 149-55.
Mioshi, E., et al., A novel tool to detect behavioural symptoms in ALS. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener, 2014. 15(3-4): p. 298-304.
Hsieh, S., et al., The Mini-Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination: A new assessment tool for dementia. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 2014. 39(1-2): p. 1-11.

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Spinal Cord Injury Breakthrough

Researchers from NeuRA, the University of New South Wales
the University of Sydney,
and HammondCare have found surviving sensory spinal nerve connections in 50 per cent of people living with complete thoracic spinal cord injuries. The study, which is part of
a decade-long collaboration between the researchers, used cutting-edge functional MRI (fMRI) technology to record neural response to touch. It was  Dr Sylvia Gustin who analysed the fMRI images to identify the moment the patient’s brain registered the touch. “Seeing the brain light up to touch shows that despite the complete injury to the thoracic spine, somatosensory pathways have been preserved,” explains Dr Gustin. “It’s fascinating that although the patients did not ‘feel’ the big toe stimulation in the experiment, we were able to detect a significant signal in response to the touch in the brain’s primary and secondary somatosensory cortices, the thalamus, and the cerebellum.” For those living with a complete spinal cord injury this means, despite previously believing
the communication to the brain had been severed in the injury, messages are still being received. Dr Gustin describes this new category of spinal cord injury as ‘discomplete’ “The current classification system is flawed. It only contains two types of spinal cord injury – complete and incomplete,” says Dr Gustin. “It is important we acknowledge there is a third category – the ‘discomplete’ injury, only then we can provide better treatment regimens for the many sufferers of a complete spinal cord injury.” For those newly classified as ‘discomplete’, this discovery opens up new opportunities to identify those people living with a spinal cord injury that are more likely to benefit from treatments aimed at improving sensation and movement. Because of this study, research participant, James Stanley, now knows he belongs to a new category. “It is exciting to know that there
is a connection there, that my toe is trying to say hello to my brain,” says James. “If medical professionals can work to identify people like me with a ‘discomplete’ injury earlier, perhaps they can find new treatments and rehabilitation techniques. “The thought that one day I might be able to feel the sand between my toes again, or the waves wash over my feet gives me hope. It’s something Dr Gustin’s discovery has made possible.”
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