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Fresh funding announced for MND research

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Fresh funding has been announced for the development of new treatments for motor neurone disease (MND).

The  Scottish Government and the UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh will provide £400,000 for research on the condition.

The announcement comes just over a year after the death of Fife MND campaigner Gordon Aikman who raised more than £500,000 for research.

The Kirkcaldy man also successfully lobbied the First Minister to publicly fund and double the number of specialist MND nurses across Scotland before he died from the debilitating disease in February last year, aged 31.

The new money will support two postdoctoral posts at the university over the next three years.

The scientists will work in partnership with the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research, a Scotland-wide research network.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “We want to ensure that people living with neurological conditions such as motor neurone disease, which is diagnosed in around 200 Scots annually, have access to the best possible care and support across the country.

“This partnership between the Scottish Government’s chief scientist office and the University of Edinburgh will allow us to build on our previous MND research funding, which includes a number of Ph.D studentships totalling almost half a million pounds over five years.

“This continues the work we’ve done with a number of stakeholders in recent years.

“For example, not only did MND Scotland support us in the creation of these studentships, but we’ve worked with them to double the number of MND specialist nurses.

“We’re also working with The Neurological Alliance of Scotland, NHS boards, integration joint boards and those who live with neurological conditions on Scotland’s first national action plan on neurological conditions.”

Mr Aikman, who was diagnosed with MND in June 2014 while working as director of research for the Better Together campaign, worked tirelessly to secure increased funding to find a cure.

He won the support of all political parties UK-wide and was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2015.

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