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Neuroprogressive Conditions Research Day announced

Neuroprogressive Conditions Research Day announced

31st January 2018

The Chief Scientist Office (CSO) of the Scottish Government, in partnership with the NRS Neuroprogressive and Dementia Network (NRS NDN), will host the inaugural Neuroprogressive Conditions Research Day on Thursday 19 April at the West Park Centre, Dundee.

The current landscape and future direction for patient-centred research in Scotland will be the central theme of the day and follows a debate in the Scottish Parliament last year that celebrated the life and work of Gordon Aikman. Mr. Aikman was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in his late twenties, and subsequently created the incredibly successful Gordon’s Fightback campaign to raise awareness of the condition.

The research day will consider research opportunities across a range of neuroprogressive diseases and include influential voices from across the research community including clinical researchers, third sector organisations, industry, patients and carers. Whilst showcasing current clinical research capacity in neuroprogresive conditions, the day will also act as a catalyst to build and expand research and share experiences and insights from all sectors in attracting research to Scotland. Exhibition and poster opportunities, will also showcase research support and highlight positive work across the sector.

Alan McNair, Senior Research Manager at CSO, said of the day: “Working with the research community, a full programme has been developed which will encompass motor neurone disease (MND), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. These diseases are increasingly understood to have commonalities in underlying mechanisms, patient experience, and symptoms and we are committed to working with our partners in industry, third sector and crucially parents and carers to prioritise research so we can better understand and develop better treatments and services for those affected,”

Emma Law, Network Manager for NRS NDN, echoed this: “Our network is committed to advancing understanding of these devastating conditions and driving new treatments. Inter-disciplinary research is crucial to this so this event is timely and will support our ambitions to attract and deliver more research in Scotland. We look forward to the event and the opportunity to form new and lasting partnerships”

John Eden, Chief Executive of Scottish Huntington’s Association, commented: “There is no greater hope among people living with neurological conditions than an effective treatment and ultimately a cure for each; but a degree of hope is also to be found in the scientific innovation, commitment of researchers and investment of government and pharmaceutical companies. Scottish Huntington’s Association believes Scotland has the expertise, infrastructure and energy to play a key role in the international effort to improve the lives of people who have a neurological condition and welcomes the opportunity this conference provides to celebrate the incredible work already being undertaken and explore how we can build upon it.”

This was seconded by Lawrence Cowan, Chair of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Scotland: “Clinical research offers hope of a world free from Motor Neurone Disease. Scotland can and must lead the way in answering the big questions around complex neurological conditions like Motor Neurone Disease. Clinical research is vital to better understand and treat these debilitating diseases, and we at MND Scotland are fully supportive of the ambition to use Scotland’s world-class research infrastructure to be a leader in this area. We’re looking forward to meeting with patients, researchers, industry, and other third sector organisations on the day, to find a way to take this aim forward together.”

The full programme for the day will include:

  • Third sector and industry support for research
  • Patient and public involvement in research
  • Establishing Scotland a come-to destination for clinical trials in neuroprogressive conditions.

Delegate places are limited and are now open – if you are a member of the public living with these conditions, a carer, or part of a Patient and Public Involvement group, you can register your free place now. 

Notes:

  • The NRS Neuroprogressive and Dementia Network (NRS NDN) is funded by the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) to promote a culture of clinical research in dementia and neuroprogressive disease across Scotland and improve recruitment to high-quality studies from both urban and rural areas
  • 3 PhD research studentships in Motor Neurone Disease and 3 PhD research studentships in Multiple Sclerosis were announced as part of Programme for Government in September 2016 -http://www.cso.scot.nhs.uk/studentships/.

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