MND Association founders group black and white

On 6 October 1979, three independent regional groups set up by people affected by MND came together for the first time as the MND Association. Professor Stephen Hawking accepted an invitation to be the Patients’ Patron and remained a figurehead of the Association until his death in 2018. 

Within a year, we had funded our first full time research fellow, based at Charing Cross Hospital’s neurological department, and just two years later, in 1982, 40 specialists attended the Association’s inaugural research conference. 

44 years on from that inauspicious start, the Association funds the coordination of life-changing care for people living with MND and wide-ranging support for families and carers. We invest millions of pounds every year in the global research effort to discover the causes, potential new treatments and ultimately a cure for MND. In 2022 we held our 33rd International Symposium attracting more than 1300 delegates from across the world. Our campaigning has changed rules, guidelines and the law, improving life for people affected by MND. And our awareness has helped to give people with MND a voice. 

The timeline below shares the key milestones of our first 40 years. 

An inforgraphic showing the history of the MND Association