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UK MND Research Institute advances towards new treatments

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The UK MND Research Institute, which opened at the end of last year, has already seen ‘positive’ results, according to reports.

The UK Motor Neuron Disease Research Institute (UK MND RI) launched in November 2023 to accelerate the search for a cure for motor neuron disease (MND).

Just two months in the centre has already produced promising trial results, according to reports from the Daily Express.

The government has pledged £50 million to better understand and treat MND,  a neurodegenerative disease affecting the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. People progressively lose voluntary movement and need complex care. Around one-third of people with MND die within a year of diagnosis, and more than half within two years.

Although it appears rare, MND will affect one in 300 people in the UK – every day in the UK, six people are diagnosed and six people die with MND.

There are currently no treatments to cure MND, and just one licensed drug for MND in the UK, which has only modest effects. As a result, the research to hunt for a cure being done within the Institute is vital.

The Institute brings together a virtual network of MND labs, clinical centres and researchers carrying out world-leading MND research across the UK, and is co-directed by MND clinician researchers Professor Ammar Al-Chalabi at King’s College London and Professor Chris McDermott at the University of Sheffield.

Speaking to the newspaper, Professor Al-Chalabi said the team are excited by their ‘groundbreaking work’ just two months in.

“The Institute has three main aims: to understand what causes MND, to develop effective new treatments and then to test those new treatments thoroughly,” he told the Daily Express.

“And in just two months the Institute is working just as we dreamed it would. Normally we would have one clinical trial in operation but here we currently have six. It’s very exciting and positive.”

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