Connect with us
  • Elysium

Neuro rehab insights

Funding research into devastating neurological conditions

How Brain Research UK is working to change the future



NR Times looks at the work of Brain Research UK in funding research into neurological conditions and why financial support is crucial in the charity being able to change the future


Brain Research UK is the leading dedicated funder of neurological research in the UK. We fund the best science to achieve the greatest impact for people affected by neurological conditions, to help them live better, longer. Every year we receive more and more funding applications from promising young researchers and research institutes across the UK.  

The impact made in the last 50 years

In the years since we were founded in 1971, we have achieved so much. We transformed our researchers’ ability to study the brain through technological advances including improved neuroimaging facilities and state of the art scanners. We have invested over £50 million into neurological conditions to enable the best research. 

Our researchers have made incredible breakthroughs: they have revealed genes and mechanisms underlying the early stages of brain tumour development which have led to new treatment possibilities; and identified protein clumping in motor neurones as a key feature of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) leading to the development of a new drug which has been shown to slow down functional decline in clinical trials. 

The challenge we face

One of the biggest challenges we face is that despite one in six of us having a neurological condition, research into the brain remains woefully under-funded. Brain tumours, for example, kill more people under 40 than any other cancer and more children in the UK than any other disease. Yet, brain tumour research attracts only one per cent of the national spend on cancer research.   

Tragically, this under-investment translates into low survival rates. When diagnosed with glioblastoma – the most common primary brain cancer – a patient will learn that there is no effective treatment for their condition and that most people with glioblastoma die within a year of diagnosis. This is in stark contrast to other cancers, where higher investment in recent decades has delivered new treatments which are dramatically improving survival.  

We are also funding research to help understand how to repair the brain and spinal cord. This may be through behavioural interventions that stimulate recovery, or medical interventions, or a combination of both.

Brain and spinal cord injuries may be traumatic – caused by an external injury to the head or spine, or non-traumatic – caused by an internal event such as a stroke.

The degree of impairment varies enormously but many people are left severely disabled and need long-term rehabilitation to maximise function, independence and quality of life.

How you can help?

There are many ways you could help us, from raising awareness of the prevalence of neurological conditions to participating or organising fundraising events. We don’t receive any government funding and rely solely on the generosity of our supporters. Please visit our website brainresearchuk.org.uk to find out more about our work and how you can support us.