Despite the continuing and growing efforts of researchers around the world an effective treatment for motor neurone disease still eludes us. This problem is currently compounded by the lengthy diagnostic process associated with MND. This means by the time a diagnosis is conclusive, a patient may have already lost many of their motor neurones. Lost motor neurones cannot be regenerated, so the earlier we can stop the disease the better the outcome will be. Therefore, discovering ways to diagnose MND earlier is just as important as discovering drugs that slow or arrest disease progression. For this reason, diagnostic MND biomarkers must be uncovered and validated to maximise the effectiveness of future treatments. In addition, biomarkers could find other important uses. One possible reason that drug therapies have not been successfully translated from MND mice to humans is that not all cases of MND progress in the same way. Discovery of biomarkers that can monitor MND progression would aid the design and implementation of human clinical trials and may even provide novel targets for future therapeutic strategies.
Source: International MND research update - March 2011, Dr Justin Yerbury for MNDRIA

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