Motor Neurone Disease Research

A promising new treatment for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is in the development process at Lancaster University.

MND is a progressive degenerative disorder of motor neurones that leads to weakness of key muscles and cell death. On average, people live three years after diagnosis. Because neurodegenerative diseases are a 'family' of diseases, this means that if a new treatment can be found for any one neurodegenerative disease, it can probably be adapted to help treat people with the other diseases.

Our researchers are testing diabetes drugs to see whether they can help people suffering from neurodegenerative disease and the early results show real promise.

In a small clinical trial of people with Parkinson’s disease, exendin-4 helped preserve motor activity and cognitive power in patients and this progress has been maintained for 12 months.

The diabetes drug Liraglutide is now being tested and has reduced key symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

In the light of these promising results Liraglutide has been proposed as an ideal candidate for a clinical trial in patients with MND.

The trial will be led by Dr. Hedley Emsley (consultant neurologist) and Professor Christian Hölscher (leading researcher in neurodegenerative diseases at Lancaster University).