Thank you to everyone who has contacted me about research into motor neurone disease (MND).
MND affects around 5,000 people in the UK. I sympathise profoundly with anyone who is affected. I also pay tribute to the MND Association for the vital role it plays in supporting research, providing information and support to sufferers and their families and campaigning for improved services.
MND research is key to finding a cure and improving treatments. The MND Association has over 30 years of involvement in funding and coordinating research. I commend and support its determination to achieve a world free from MND. The Association makes an enormous contribution and currently supports 85 projects totalling £14.6 million.
Concerns have been raised, however, that Government funding for targeted MND research has plateaued at around £3 million a year. Indeed, both the Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research funded fewer MND-related projects in 2019-20 compared to 2018-19.
The MND Association’s ‘United to End MND’ campaign brings together people with MND, researchers, clinicians, and charities in a call to Government to fund a virtual centre of excellence for MND research. I urge Ministers to respond and set out the Government’s plans for MND research going forward.