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"It feels like we're on the edge of something revolutionary"

Catherine Godbold

Georgia Andreopoulou is a PhD student at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. Last week, she came to our MS Frontiers conference to present her research on walking difficulties in MS.

We caught up with Georgia at the conference to find out how her talk went, and how she felt about her first time at MS Frontiers.

What made you decide to go to MS Frontiers?

I've been working on my PhD research for a few years now and I was keen to share my findings with the MS research community.

This was my first time at MS Frontiers. When I got the news that I'd been chosen to present my research in front of all the leading MS researchers I was really excited…and very nervous. Some of the researchers who attended are almost like celebrities in the MS research world!

What is your research about?

My research is about measuring foot drop brought on by exercise. Lots of people with MS experience foot drop, which means you find it difficult to lift the front part of your foot.

I discovered you can measure really small changes in people’s ability to walk, before and after exercise. We might be able to use this to find out how someone’s MS is progressing.

While I was carrying out the research, I loved hearing the stories of the people with MS who took part in the study. I was really inspired by how they live with some really challenging symptoms.

And how did your talk go?

It went really well – I got lots of positive feedback and my voice didn’t shake too much!

What did you do while you were at the conference?

It was great - I spent two whole days talking about nothing but MS research. I found it really useful to discuss my research with people from different areas of MS research, as they have a different perspective. And I got lots of suggestions for how I could make my research even better.

I also listened to lots of presentations by other researchers, so now I have a much better knowledge of what’s hot in MS research at the moment.

How do conferences help researchers?

I think it’s really important for researchers to work together and the conference gave me the chance to make connections with other MS researchers. The best way to make progress in science is if we all share our results with each other, so we can all build on each other’s work.

What was the most exciting thing that you heard about at the conference?

For me, the most exciting part was listening to a lecture by Professor Catherine Lubetzki, from Sorbonne University in Paris. Her talk was about repairing the damage to the protective myelin coating around nerves.

I hadn’t realised how much progress we're making towards the first treatments to target myelin repair – it feels like we're really on the edge of something revolutionary.

What will you take away from the conference?

Meeting so many people who are all working towards the same goals was really inspiring. And I heard lots of ideas that I want to apply to my own research.

But most of all, it was so exciting to hear how much progress we’re making towards stopping MS.

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