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Petition Increase funding for urgent research into devastating motor neurone disease

We ask Government to significantly increase targeted research funding for motor neurone disease (MND).

A new investment of £50m over 5 years could kickstart a pioneering MND Research Institute.

This would lead to better, faster and more definitive research outcomes and hope for those with MND.

More details

The lifetime risk of contracting motor neurone disease (MND) is 1 in 300.

This means over 200,000 of today’s UK population will be affected by this devastating condition which kills a third of people within a year and over half within two. There are no effective treatments and no cure.

However, world leading scientists in the UK are closer than ever to finding treatments for MND. Now they need the right financial support.

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Government responded

This response was given on 7 April 2021

The Government recognises the immense challenges faced by people with motor neuron disease and is currently working on ways to significantly boost further research into the disease.

Read the response in full

The Government recognises the immense challenges faced by people with motor neuron disease (MND) and is committed to supporting MND research. Over the past five years, the Government has spent £54m on MND research, through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) via the Medical Research Council. This includes research which aims to increase our understanding of the causes and genetic mechanisms of MND.

The Government remains strongly committed to supporting research into dementia and neurodegeneration, including MND. The 2020 Challenge on Dementia pledged to spend £300m over five years on research into neurodegenerative conditions, and this commitment was delivered a year early with £344m spent by 2019. The 2019 Conservative Manifesto committed to doubling funding for dementia research (including MND research) and the Government is putting plans in place now to deliver this commitment.

The Government has been working to establish a rich ecosystem for neurodegeneration research in the UK. Significant elements are the UK Dementia Research Institute, Dementias Platform UK, NIHR Dementia Translational Research Collaboration, and Join Dementia Research. The UK Dementia Research Institute has significant investment in MND research, with a particular focus on the mechanisms that cause the disease. Specific work on MND is also currently ongoing at Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre, part of the Dementia Translational Research Collaboration, and within the NIHR Clinical Research Network, which has a speciality in dementia and neurodegenerative diseases.

Government funding for MND research comes via the National Institute for Health Research and UK Research and Innovation. It is not usual practice to ring-fence funding for particular topics or conditions. The NIHR and UKRI welcome funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including MND. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money, and scientific quality.

Department of Health and Social Care

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