The MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases is one of the MRC’s translational research centres and opened in 2008. It is directed by Professor Michael G Hanna and is a partnership between the UCL Institutes of Neurology and Child Health, and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Genetic and acquired neuromuscular diseases represent a major cause of mortality and morbidity in children and adults. There is a large gap between major science discoveries and patient benefit in these important disorders. The MRC Centre has been working since 2008 to reduce this gap by establishing a multidisciplinary translational research activity in these disabling diseases.
The Centre is working with the very large adult and paediatric neuromuscular disease patient populations cared for at the co-located hospitals: Great Ormond Street NHS Trust, the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases is based at the UCL Institute of Neurology in collaboration with the UCL Institute of Child Health, other departments of UCL and at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. There is a very large adult and paediatric patient populations with neuromuscular diseases cared for at the co-located hospitals: The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), UCLH Foundation Trust; Great Ormond Street NHS Trust, and the Newcastle teaching hospitals.
The Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases draws together the expertise of a large team of specialist clinical neurologists, neurophysiologists, neuropathologists, neurophysiotherapists and specialist nurses in the clinical management of neuromuscular muscle wasting diseases such as motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, muscular dystrophy and peripheral neuropathy. In addition there is an active clinical and preclinical research programme into these disorders. As such, it is one of the leading centres for research into neuromuscular diseases in the UK. We see around 3,500 patients each year in the muscle, peripheral nerve, motor neurone disease and myasthenia clinics. The muscle and peripheral nerve services have both experienced a rapid expansion in recent years, driven by demand for treatment. We are also actively involved in research into the genetic and acquired neuromuscular diseases, are involved in clinical trials of new treatments and offer specialist clinics for genetic neuromuscular diseases.
The National Brain Appeal, the charity dedicated to raising funds for the hospital, has worked with Professor Michael Hanna, and were successful in opening the UK’s first comprehensive Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases in December 2009. The new Centre at 8-11 Queen Square has brought together the entire team of Queen Square experts in these fields, led by Professor Hanna. It includes a clinical trials facility and IT systems to support the development of new treatments and facilitate translational research to benefit patients. The Centre is a truly unique environment supporting young scientists to develop research programmes to find treatments for these serious diseases.
The Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases draws together the expertise of a large team of specialist health professionals and aims to provide a local, regional and national centre of clinical excellence for the diagnosis and management of Neuromuscular Diseases. The Centre has a particular focus on diseases of peripheral nerves and muscles. The Centre runs a number of specialist clinics under the auspices of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.
This is a joint centre between the UCL Institute of Neurology and the UCL Institute of Child Health, London and the University of Newcastle. The Centre is working with the very large adult and paediatric neuromuscular disease patient populations cared for at the co-located hospitals: Great Ormond Street NHS Trust, the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases is the result of a group of academic and medical institutions committed to developing research into patient care. These are the UCL Institute of Neurology, the UCL Institute of Child Health, the University of Newcastle, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH), Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust, and Great Ormond St Hospital for Children (GOSH).
UCL Provost and President, Professor Malcolm Grant, added: "We welcome the establishment of this centre at the UCL Institute of Neurology and thank the MRC for their generous contribution and ongoing support. The centre will play a major role in the advancement of scientific knowledge in this field and, most vitally, in the development of treatments to improve the lives of those who suffer from these debilitating neuromuscular conditions".