§ Mr. Rowlands
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what estimate his Department has made of the amount spent on research into the causes of spina bifida; what amount is spent by the Government on this research; and what plans his Department has for extending the financial help and support for research into spina bifida.51W
§ Mrs. Thatcher
I have been asked to reply since the Medical Research Council comes within my area of responsibility.
It is not possible to provide an estimate of the amount spent on research into the causes of this condition because it cannot be isolated from studies of genetic and other developmental abnormalities. Relevant studies are in progress under the auspices of the Medical Research council and also in a number of university 52W departments with support from UGC funds. Further valuable support is given by the voluntary bodies, notably the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and the National Fund for Research into Crippling Diseases. The Department of Health and Social Security is also supporting studies into the incidence, family and social effects of the condition and active consideration is being given to further proposals for research.