HC Deb 21 November 1966 vol 736 cc237-8W
Mr. Elystan Morgan

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will give particulars of the places at which multiple disseminated sclerosis is the subject of exclusive research in the United Kingdom; by whom this is being done; and how it is being financed; (2) whether he is satisfied that the finances at present available are sufficient to enable the necessary research to be carried out into the cause of and the possible cure of multiple disseminated sclerosis; and if he will make a statement; (3) what proposals he has to increase financial support for those undertaking or willing to undertake research into multiple disseminated sclerosis.

Mr. Redhead

The Medical Research Council is supporting a sizeable programme of research on multiple (or disseminated) sclerosis. Research on this disease forms the entire programme of the Council's Demyelinating Diseases Research Unit at Newcastle upon Tyne, whose investigations include experimental work and clinical trials carried out in collaboration with the University Department of Neurology. Other related studies supported by the Council are in progress at Guy's Hospital Medical School, the Middlesex Hospital Medical School and in the University of Leeds. Further research is undertaken in a number of universities, and in hospitals under the National Health Service. The Multiple Sclerosis Society and the National Fund for Research into Poliomyelitis and other Crippling Diseases also provide voluntary support for research into this disease.

In addition to the projects specifically directed towards the problem of multiple sclerosis, work in the general field of neurobiology and more fundamental research is being undertaken with the help of Government funds in MRC establishments and universities. This work may also help to advance our knowledge of the aetiology of multiple sclerosis.

The allocation between fields of research of the grant-in-aid to the Medical Research Council is a matter for the scientific judgment of the Council. Multiple sclerosis presents very difficult problems and I am assured that any promising new proposals for research submitted for support by the Council will receive sympathetic consideration.