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Brilliant minds lead to promising breakthroughs

Kate at work in her lab

All too often, medical research taking place in the laboratory seems a world away from the people who stand to benefit from any breakthrough.

That’s why it’s so refreshing to meet people like Kate Duberley, a PhD student at the Institute of Neurology, in London - currently being funded by Ataxia UK. For Kate is not only motivated by the scientific challenges presented by ataxia; she is also passionately committed to meeting and supporting the people whose lives are affected by it.

‘As lot of my day involves complex experiments; says Kate; ‘meeting people with ataxia provides the human context for what I do in the lab.’

Find out how research projects like Kate's could help young people with ataxia in the future.

Exciting opportunities

Along with Doctor Iain Hargreaves, Kate is researching a form of ataxia caused by low levels of a substance called Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). In particular, they are exploring the potential of CoQ10 supplements to reverse damage to the brain - as it has already been shown to prevent further deterioration in people with this form of ataxia.

‘My job is to find out why we don’t seem to be able to reverse the damage’ says Kate; ‘in the hope that one day we will be able to treat affected people more successfully.’

Kate is also conducting a range of experiments aimed at finding a way of measuring levels of CoQ10 in the brain and thus identifying ataxia patients who might benefit from supplements and other treatments.
It is research such as this that enables all four ChildLife charities to remain at the forefront of their field - and to deliver the very best outcomes for the people who stand to benefit. Thank you.

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