Over 100 people including Trinity College’s leading lights in MND research, College staff and politicians, gathered in Trinity’s Front Square to collectively take on the Ice Bucket Challenge watched on by many supporters.
Trinity’s internationally recognised MND research group led by Professor Orla Hardiman, Professor of Academic Neurology, Trinity, and Consultant Neurologist at Beaumont Hospital together with Aisling Farrell, CEO of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA), which has been the beneficiary of the Ice Bucket Challenge for MND, led the challenge. They were joined by politicians Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD, Gabrielle McFadden TD, Róisín Shorthall TD, Caoimhghín O Caoláin TD, Joe Costello TD, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Senator Cáit Keane, Senator Ivana Bacik, Cllr Mary Hanafin, and Mairead McGuinness MEP, and a cross section of staff from all areas of the College.
Trinity received the Ice Bucket Challenge from Sheffield University Institute of Translational Neuroscience (SITRaN) and Professor Orla Hardiman also received challenges from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Boston and a number of people in Ireland including her MND patients.
The disease, which cause inexorable decline of the motor neurones and death within three years of first symptoms in most people, affects about 300 Irish people, with some 110 new cases reported each year. Professor Hardiman has made several significant discoveries in the area, including the identification of a gene for MND. Her research, which is funded by the Health Research Board (HRB), has found that particular variations in genes make certain populations more susceptible to the disease than others.
Professor Hardiman said, “We collaborate widely with colleagues across the world to understand the causes of this terrible disease, and to find new and effective treatments. People in Ireland have responded with incredible enthusiasm and generosity to the Ice Bucket Challenge. Creating awareness about the disease is extremely important – hopefully we can put more resources into tackling MND for the ultimate benefit of patients.”
Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar TD also took the Ice Bucket Challenge in aid of Motor Neurone Disease at Trinity College Dublin on Tuesday 2nd September along with Graham Love, CEO of HRB and Professor Paul Browne, Head of the Trinity School of Medicine. Trinity’s internationally recognised MND research group led by Professor Orla Hardiman, Professor of Academic Neurology, Trinity, and Consultant Neurologist at Beaumont Hospital together with Aisling Farrell, CEO of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA), which has been the beneficiary of the Ice Bucket Challenge for MND, facilitated the challenge by pouring the iced water over the challengers with help from students from Trinity's School of Nursing and Midwifery and School of Medicine.
Information on donating to the Ice Bucket Challenge is available on the website of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association
Information about Trinity's research in MND is available on the Academic Neurology website