Motor Neurone Disease

Huge benefits for people with MND

Ground breaking, world-first research out of Flinders University has uncovered the first biomarker for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) progression - a giant step for developing better treatments, or even a cure, for the disease.

Following six years of work, Flinders University Researcher Dr Mary-Louise Rogers and her team found that a protein in the urine of people with MND changes as the disease progresses.  

Dr Rogers said the world-first discovery of this long sought after biomarker means it may now be possible to accurately determine if medications tested in clinical trials are effective.

“In the future we will be able to accurately measure if the new marker level is going up, down, or remaining stable when testing drugs in clinical trials, which will speed up the process for finding out if these drugs are working or not. This will have huge benefits for people with MND, as effective drugs for treatment may be identified much earlier than previously possible.” Dr Rogers said.

Until now, to measure MND progression and effectiveness of medications, clinicians have relied mostly on a questionnaire given to patients to form a score on a functional range scale. However this process is subjective.

MND is a rapidly progressing neurological disease for which there is currently no cure. At any point in time more than 1,400 Australians are living with MND.  This research was made possible thanks to the generous support of the community. In early 2017 a further grant was provided to Dr Rogers to explore whether a MND biomarker also exists in the blood.

MND researchers at Flinders are aiming to become world leaders in biomarker testing.   

Watch the Seven News story here.

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