Motor neurone disease

New fellowship to promote motor neurone research in NHS Scotland

The Scottish Government has moved to promote research into motor neurone disease (MND) with a new academic fellowship.

The PhD will start next year and will look into to both treatments for the disease and its causes.

The position represents a collaboration between the Scottish Government and MND Scotland, who are each fronting £125,000 of funding for the research.

The fellowship is the third that has been jointly financed by the two organisations and one which will further bolster MND research capacity within NHS Scotland.

Since 2015, the Scottish Government has invested approximately £700,000 into MND research – MND Scotland has invested around £344,000 itself in the same period.

The news was announced by Scotland’s deputy first minister, Shona Robison, in Paris where she welcomed cyclists who had travelled from Edinburgh to raise money for the MND charity, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

“MND is a devastating condition, and we are committed to ensuring that all people living with MND in Scotland are able to access the best possible care and support,” said Robison.

“MND is incredibly distressing for the person with the condition and their family. The research funding in collaboration with MND Scotland will allow vital work to study the progression of the condition and help inform the development of future treatments.”

MND Scotland estimates that, in the UK, a person has a one in 300 risk of getting the disease in their lifetime – as of now, there is no cure or effective disease-modifying treatment. The post-diagnosis life expectancy is just 18 months.

Director of research at MND Scotland, Dr Jane Haley, commented: “With this joint funding, we are taking a further step towards understanding the causes of MND and the search for effective treatments.

“We look forward to future collaborations with the Scottish Government, including ensuring that Scotland is equipped to roll out any emerging treatments for MND which may arise from the clinical trials currently underway.”

Image credit: iStock

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