Lon­don sci­en­tist joins MND re­search team

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

New re­search into how drugs can al­ter the devel­op­ment of mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease is un­der way in Auck­land.

The drug dis­cov­ery project at the Univer­sity of Auck­land’s Cen­tre for Brain Re­search, fol­lows the ar­rival of Dr Emma Scot­ter from King’s Col­lege Lon­don to take up the Aotearoa PostDoc­toral Fel­low­ship there.

Scot­ter, along with Pro­fes­sor Mike Dra­gunow and Pro­fes­sor Mar­garet Brim­ble, is look­ing at 4000 dif­fer­ent drugs to see if any of the com­pounds can in­flu­ence, or change, the devel­op­ment of mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease in pa­tient brain cells.

Mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease (MND) is a neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­ease in which the nerve cells con­trol­ling the mus­cles that en­able us to move, speak, swal­low and breathe slowly die.

‘‘If we’re go­ing to make a dif­fer­ence to peo­ple’s lives with MND, we need re­search like this to bet­ter un­der­stand the fac­tors that cause it and ul­ti­mately find a cure,’’ MND as­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Beth Wat­son says.

‘‘It’s a re­ally ex­cit­ing project and we’re lucky to have the likes of Dr Scot­ter work­ing on MND re­search in New Zealand.’’

There are around 300 peo­ple in New Zealand with the fa­tal dis­ease.

‘‘This re­search project takes New Zealand’s MND re­search to an ex­cit­ing new phase,’’ Scot­ter says.

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