HL Deb 21 April 1998 vol 588 cc203-4WA
Baroness Jeger

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action they are taking to improve research into the diagnosis and treatment of motor neurone disease; and what were the mortality figures for the last convenient period. [HL1422]

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Baroness Jay of Paddington)

The main agency through which the Government support bio-medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body which receives its grant-in-aid from the Office of Science and Technology, which is part of the Department of Trade and Industry. In 1995–96, the MRC spent £170,000 on research which specifically addresses the pathology or treatment of motor neurone disease. The MRC funds a considerable amount of basic underpinning research on nerve function and damage. The MRC spent £53.6 million on neurosciences and mental health in 1995–96.

The number of deaths certified as being due to motor neurone disease in the United Kingdom in 1996 (the latest year for which data are available) was 1,286.