Scientists at UCL have won a £5.3 million grant which they say is the largest awarded so far in the UK for research into Parkinson’s disease.
The funding from the research charity the Wellcome Trust and UK Medical Research Council is to a team that brings together experts from UCL’s Institute of Neurology and the Royal Free Hospital London, with groups from the universities of Dundee and Sheffield.
Professors John Hardy, Anthony Schapira and Nicholas Wood from the UCL Institute of Neurology will lead the research, which will investigate the earliest stages of Parkinson’s to achieve a greater understanding of the genes involved and to develop markers of early disease.
Patients from the Royal Free Hospital and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UCLH, will be recruited for the research which starts in March next year.
Wood said this is the first time that a research project has been designed to systematically use basic science to investigate people at risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease. “It is hoped that by addressing the earliest phase of the disease, opportunities for disease modification will be greatest.”