TIRELESS campaigning by Doddie Weir along with MND Scotland and others has finally resulted in at least £50m being committed by the UK Government to help find a cure for Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Doddie had intended to deliver a letter personally to Downing Street a few weeks ago but had to pull out at the last minute following a covid scare.

But ministers took note of the overwhelming support for the cause and it is now hoped that new, innovative projects will help researchers to better understand the disease and its related conditions, develop and test treatments and improve care for those living with MND.

There is currently only one drug licensed in the UK to treat MND – Riluzole – which slows the progression of the disease and extends someone’s life by a few months.

The investment is part of a wider funding package of £375m to fund projects into a range of diseases such as Pick’s Disease, fronto-temporal dementia, wernicke-korsakoff, Parkinson’s, Lewy Body dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

For MND, a new National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) unit will be set up to help encourage more innovative studies into the disease with the ultimate goal of finding a cure.

Borders MP John Lamont MP who has raised the issue at PMQs said: “I am over the moon that the UK Government has supported this £50m investment into MND to help find a cure. It forms part of a wider £375m investment into neurodegenerative diseases which devastate so many families across the Borders.

“I am proud to have played a part in pushing for this investment. However, it is the tireless campaigning of Doddie Weir who has raised the profile of this awful disease and raised millions of pounds in the process through his charity that has made this all possible.

“His bravery and determination in the face of adversity has been awe inspiring when he could have so easily given up.

“The UK is a global leader in medical research and this investment will keep our brightest and best scientists at the forefront of the battle to find a cure.”