Government cuts to research will have a knock on effect for the future, while cuts to care have an impact on those currently living with MND. Funding and promoting research to ensure a future rich in clinical, scientific and healthcare discoveries for MND is important to us, but we can’t achieve this on our own.
As part of MND Awareness week, a two-part series has been aired on ITV West Country Tonight, focusing on MND and the Government’s spending cuts on care and research. The show featured Prof Kevin Talbot, an MND Association funded expert on MND care and research based at the University of Oxford who was filmed at one of our recent Spring Conferences.
In the short film, Prof Talbot says that “When research funding is cut, one of the consequences is that the adventurous, exciting research doesn’t get funded. The ‘safe’ research, which really confirms what we already know tends gets funded. I think there’s a loss of innovation and adventure and that’s a real concern for different diseases such as MND.”
Funding ‘safe’ science may seem like a logical step when faced with difficult financial decisions, but without exciting and pioneering research, we simply won’t make any clear strides toward our vision of a world free of MND. Luckily, we are in a unique position to cherry pick and fund the very best research wherever it’s based in the UK and the world, research which will kick start exciting new areas of exploration into MND.
Speaking to us earlier this year, Prof Talbot told us that he considers the Association instrumental in the development of MND care and research in the UK, with an international influence too. But he sees his relationship with the Association as not simply about receiving care and research funding grants but crucial to his sense of feeling part of a wider research community dedicated to MND. “It helps to keep me connected to the important issues raised by the disease.”
We can’t achieve our vision on our own and so collaboration is a key component to ensuring that there will be a bountiful future for MND research. To do this, we are identifying and pursuing ways in which the profile of MND research can be raised, either directly through investment in research, or indirectly through influencing and campaigning the Government, related medical research agencies and pharmaceutical companies.
It is only through collaboration that we can we truly ensure a rich and successful future for MND research in the UK.
See part-two of the MND special on ITV West Country Tonight
To find out about all of the exciting research projects we fund, please see our ‘research we fund’ section of our website.