HC Deb 26 April 2004 vol 420 c841W
Bob Spink

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on his plans for(a) research into and (b) treatment of Parkinson's disease. [167227]

Dr. Ladyman

The Government are investing an additional £40 million in stem cell research in 2004–06, which offers enormous potential in producing new treatments for diseases such as Parkinson's.

The Government are also funding the creation of a national stem cell bank. The first of its kind in the world, it will hold all types of stem cells as a resource for researchers.

The main agency through which the Government support medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body that receives its grant-in-aid from the Office of Science and Technology. In 2001–02 the MRC provided more than £3 million for research relevant to Parkinson's disease.

We are developing a national service framework for long-term conditions which will focus on improving services for people with neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease.

We have commissioned the National Institute for Clinical Excellence to prepare guidelines for the diagnosis, management and treatment of Parkinson's disease in primary and secondary care. We expect that the guidelines will be published in spring 2006.