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Landmark MND trial launches in Glasgow

The UK's biggest MND trial has opened its third recruitment centre, in Glasgow.

Posted : 19/10/2020

A groundbreaking clinical trial for MND begins today at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow.

The pioneering trial MND-SMART is testing multiple drugs, rather than a single treatment at a time, and so aims to speed up the time it takes to find medicines that can slow, stop, or reverse the progression of MND.

The trial, based at the QEUH, will welcome participants from across the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde region which cares for the largest number of people living with MND.

Motor neurone disease (MND), also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, is a progressive condition that causes muscle to waste away. It occurs when nerve cells called motor neurons, which send messages from the brain and spinal cord to the body’s muscles, stop working properly.

More than 1,500 people are diagnosed with MND in the UK each year. There is no cure and half of people die within two years of diagnosis.

MND-SMART is a pioneering clinical trial in its reach and design and is recruiting hundreds of people living with MND across the UK to take part in tests of potential treatments. Unlike typical clinical trials which test a single treatment at a time, MND-SMART is testing multiple drugs and so aims to speed up the time it takes to find medicines that can slow, stop, or reverse the progression of, MND.

Dr George Gorrie, Consultant Neurologist and Lead for Motor Neurone Disease Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “The MND-SMART trial launching in Glasgow is some good news at a time when there isn’t much around.

“Ensuring the safety of people taking part in MND-SMART is the research team’s highest priority and we will follow all government requirements relating to COVID-19 and research.

“The pandemic and ensuring practices are COVID-19 compliant will impact how quickly people can be recruited to the trial but we are delighted to be able to start seeing participants.”

Those who have already registered online interest in the trial and who live in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area will be contacted by the Glasgow trial team over the coming months to discuss taking part.

The trial was first announced in January and centres are due to open across the UK. Glasgow is the third such centre after Edinburgh and Dundee.

The trial has been developed by people with MND and clinical trial experts from across the UK. The study is led by the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research at the University of Edinburgh.

Funding for the trial has been provided by the Euan MacDonald Centre, substantial private donations, MND Scotland and the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

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“The MND-SMART trial launching in Glasgow is some good news at a time when there isn’t much around.”

Dr George Gorrie

Dr George Gorrie