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Pioneering MND study opens in Salford

Salford Royal has become the first hospital in England to offer people with motor neurone disease (MND) the opportunity to take part in a groundbreaking study that  aims to find treatments that can slow, stop or reverse disease progression.

The UK-wide trial – called MND-SMART – is a long-term study will ensure that new medicines can be tested for years to come, researchers say.

The study is already open at three sites in Scotland (Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow).

People with MND who have already registered online interest in the trial and who live in the Greater Manchester region, will be contacted by the trial team over the coming months to discuss taking part.

Consultant neurologist Dr Hisham Hamdalla, who is the Principal Investigator for the study at Salford, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer our patients the opportunity to take part in this important research. Being diagnosed with MND is devastating and our current treatments only have limited benefit. The MND-SMART trial now offers us a way to assess alternative drugs that could slow down or stop the progression of the MND  and greatly benefit people living with this condition.”

MND-SMART is a pioneering clinical trial in its reach and design that launched in January 2020. The trial 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.

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.

MND-SMART is funded by the Euan MacDonald Centre, substantial private donations, MND Scotland and the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

Since the announcement of the trial’s launch, more than 1000 people with MND from across the UK have registered their interest in taking part in the trial.