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Sara Koe Research Fellowship – Dr Edwin Jabbari

In his latest blog post, Dr Jabbari gives us an update on his fellowship project and shares his fundraising plans.


Hello to all in the PSPA family!

It has been a while since my first blog piece and as I’m now entering the final three months of my first year as a PSPA research fellow, I figured now would be a good time to take stock of what I’ve been up to so far and talk about the road ahead.

Recruitment to the PROSPECT study continues to be a success – at our last check we counted over 400 patients signed up in total across the UK. The recruitment phase of the study finishes at the end of this year so we’re hoping to push on and recruit as many patients as possible. In terms of my own research, there have been a number of positive developments. I’m about to publish a review on the use of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood biomarkers to track and predict how PSP progresses. Linked to this, I’m currently waiting on the results of a batch of CSF and blood samples that we’ve sent to Sweden for testing in Prof Henrik Zetterberg’s lab. These samples were from patients with a number of different neurodegenerative conditions (including PSP and CBD) that were collected at UCL between 2011-2013 by Dr Nadia Magdalinou and Prof Andrew Lees. I’m hoping that the results will identify new proteins of interest in PSP that will give us new insights into the disease and how it progresses. Watch this space… Until then, I will be presenting the preliminary data that we already have at upcoming Neurology conferences in Liverpool, Vancouver and London.

On that note, I’d like to take the opportunity to make a personal plea regarding the uptake of lumbar punctures to donate CSF by patients who are already recruited/will be recruited in future to the PROSPECT study. From my own experience, a lot of patients are very apprehensive about the procedure but are very reassured when we talk through what it actually involves doing. We do them so often that it’s almost as routine as taking a blood test! Do have a chat with the research nurse at your PROSPECT centre if you would like more information.

The other area of focus for my research is on the genetic determinants of disease progression in PSP. This project is moving along nicely and I hope to have further updates by the end of the year.

Away from research, I’m very pleased (and slightly scared) to report that I’ll be running the British 10K in July for the PSPA! For friends and family reading this – prepare to receive a barrage of sponsorship requests. I look forward to meeting my fellow PSPA runners and supporters on the day. I’ve been inspired by all of the personal stories I’ve read on the PSPA Facebook page from PSPA marathon runners recently so thank you for sharing the memories of your loved ones and well done on such an amazing achievement!

Finally, if I don’t get to meet you at the British 10K then there’s a chance I could be meeting you at upcoming local supporter groups. We’re in the process of trying to finalise some dates so keep an eye out for this.

Best wishes,

Ed

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