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Participant Appreciation Day

NeuroSKILL hosts research participant appreciation day at Bangor University

The NeuroSKILL program hosted an appreciation day for community members who have participated in psychology research at Bangor University on August the 29th. Dr Mullins presenting the NeuroSKILL project to past and future research participants Dr Mullins presenting the NeuroSKILL project to past and future research participants Patients and members of the local community who have been participants in research studies were welcomed to the Brigantia Building today, and through a series of informative talks by researchers and students at Bangor University told about some of the research taking place, and the results of these studies.  The day also acted as a thank you for the involvement of members of the community and patient groups as volunteers for research studies, with Dr Paul Mullins and Dr Robert Rafal both thanking those present for the gift of their time and involvement in imaging research at Bangor University.  As Dr Mullins said to those present "We really couldn't do the work we do with out your involvement, however your contribution goes beyond just helping a couple of researchers at Bangor get their studies done, and will lead to new techniques and treatments in clinical and cognitive sciences"

Those in attendance where told about several research programs that their involvement has helped facilitate.  Dr Paul Mullins introduced the NeuroSKILL project and gave information about studies that are underway in this program.  PhD students Karolina Rusiak and Kristin Koller then spoke to the participants about the research they are each doing, and the results they have been getting.
Karolina introduced her work on neurochemistry and brain connectivity in ageing and Dementia, showing recent results of decline in specific neurochemicals with ageing.Kristin Koller discussing her project on virtual dissection of nerve pathways in the brain Kristin Koller discussing her project on virtual dissection of nerve pathways in the brain   Kristin discussed her work using diffusion tractography to identify and measure the white matter tracts involved with non-visual responses to visual stimuli.  Attendees of the day where then given an overview of the Wolfson center for clinical and cognitive neuroscience by Professor Robert Rafal and how the involvement of research participants has been responsible for the advancement of clinical research in North Wales.  The final presentation of the day was from Therese Gilligan who talked about her work in prism adaptation for stroke rehabilitation and other aspects of her work.

Patients and members of the  "community panel" were then treated to cake, coffee and tea and had an opportunity to chat with the researchers informally, getting further information about future research programs and other opportunities to participate.

One stroke patient, who has participated in several studies, said "Taking part in the research studies being done at bangor has been an extremely rewarding experience for me.  I have learnt so much more about my stroke, and increased my understanding of what has happened to me greatly since taking part.  I find participation fascinating, and would volunteer to take part in a new study every week if I could"

The Wolfson Centre for Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience hosts a data base of both community members and patients who have volunteered to participate in research.  Anyone who is interested in being involved in research, either as a patient or healthy control is asked to contact Rebecca Henderson at who will collect contact details and be in touch about possible future research studies.   

The NeuroSKILL program is a joint Venture between Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and Bangor University, and the project has been part funded by the European Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Programme 2007-13.

Publication date: 10 September 2014