Predicting disease course in the C9orf72 mouse model of MND

“This study has the potential to make important contributions to improving our ability to stratify and streamline pre-clinical trials” – scientific peer reviewer

MND is notorious for affecting people in different ways, which makes it difficult to diagnose and to judge if a new treatment has worked in a trial. A new mouse model has recently been developed, which carries the most common MND gene mutation in the C9orf72 gene. This mouse closely mimics how the disease develops in people, including its unpredictability. This makes it an extremely valuable resource in the fight against MND.

During this project, led by Dr James Alix at the University of Sheffield, the team will examine the mice in detail using a variety of tests that look at how different parts of the brain and spinal cord work. They will use advanced mathematical methods to develop a way to detect when the disease starts and predict how it is going to progress. The results will enable scientists to better understand the disease the mice have and how it develops. In turn, this will enable better research studies to be designed in people. Ultimately, this project will help to improve our understanding of MND and develop new treatments.

This biomedical project will cost £220,000 over three years.

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