HC Deb 19 July 1988 vol 137 cc586-7W
Mr. Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement of progress on research into motor neurone disease and of support for the work of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Mrs. Currie

The Medical Research Council is the main Government body for biomedical and clinical research in this country and receives its grant aid from the Department of Education and Science. In the financial year 1986–87 the Medical Research Council's expenditure on research relating to motor neurone disease was approximately £280,000. I understand that the council is also supporting a considerable amount of basic and epidemiological research which may be of relevance to motor neurone disease.

I am aware of the work done by the Motor Neurone Disease Association to fund research into the cause and cure for this disease, and to provide care and support for sufferers and their families. The Department awarded the association a three year grant of £10,000 per annum from 1985–86 to 1987–88 to enable it to expand and develop its paitent care service. A further application for funding is currently under consideration.