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Multiple Sclerosis

Volume 979: debated on Monday 25 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what research is currently taking place to identify the causes of multiple sclerosis; and if any regard is being taken of the fact that multiple sclerosis attacks those who live or have lived in temperate zones;(2) what is the amount of budget allocated for research into multiple sclerosis; and where that research is taking place.

Current research projects which are relevant to multiple sclerosis and are supported by the Medical Research Council are listed below. Those projects which may yield information on the causes of multiple sclerosis are indicated with an asterisk. The council also supports more basic work in the field of neurobiology which may, in the long term, increase understanding of this disease.I am informed by the council that expenditure in 1978–79 on the projects listed amounted to £645,000. The geographical variation in the prevalence of multiple sclerosis has been extensively documented, but studies are continuing. While this variation suggests an environmental factor it does not correlate in all respects with climatic factors.

Projects directly supported by the Medical Research Council

Establishment and Title of Project

*National Institute for Medical Research
Virology Division
London
Aetiology of multiple sclerosis and other neurological disease (includes analysis of a study carried out on the Faroe Islands).
Clinical Research Centre
Division of Immunology
Harrow, Middlesex
Use of cytotoxic drugs, LAG, transfer factor, interferon in collagen diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, dermatomyositis and multiple sclerosis.
Clinical Research Centre
Division of Surgical Sciences
Harrow, Middlesex
Immuno-suppressive or immunopotentiating influences of simple variations in diet,
*Clinical Research Centre
Division of Surgical Sciences
Harrow, Middlesex
Studies of lymphocyte cell surfaces particularly from multiple sclerosis patients and techniques of lymphocytes in culture.
Clinical Research Centre
Division of Surgical Sciences
Harrow, Middlesex
Clinical trial of intensive immunosuppression therapy in multiple sclerosis with exact immunological monitoring of patients.
*MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology Cambridge
The immunopathology of measles virus infection, particularly with respect to subacute sclerosing panencephalitis.
MRC Neurological Prostheses Unit
London
Posterior Column Stimulator.
*MRC Virology Unit
Glasgow
Genetics, molecular biology and immunology of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2.
*MRC Virology Unit
Glasgow
Investigation of multiple sclerosis and other human neurological material.
Institute of Neurology
London
Changes in cerebral evoked potentials in patients with various lesions of nervous system and sense organs (with special reference to multiple sclerosis).
Institute of Neurology
London
Study of the electrospinogram in healthy subjects and patients with neurological lesions (including multiple sclerosis).

Projects supported by grants for research workers in university departments and medical schools

Division of Surgical Sciences
Northwick Park Hospital
Harrow
Treatment of multiple sclerosis with immunosuppressants.
*Department of Clinical Neurology
Institute of Neurology
London
Clinical, biochemical and immunological investigations on patients with multiple sclerosis.
*Department of Medicine
Guy's Hospital Medical School
London
Auto-immunity to nervous tissue antigens in demyelinating disease.
Wessex Neurological Centre
University
Southampton
The effect of spinal cord stimulation in human spinal disease and injury and intractable pain.
Department of Clinical Neurology
University
Oxford
Dorsal column stimulation in treatment of multiple sclerosis.
*Strangeways Research Laboratory
Cambridge
Neurotoxicity of 1-aminocyclopentane-1-carboxylate in mice. A model of subacute combined degeneration of the cord.
*Department of Bacteriology
University
Bristol
The integration of measles virus genome in the host cell in chronic measles infection.
Department of Clinical Neurology
University
Oxford
Cerebral and spinal event-related potentials in neurological disease.
Department of Clinical Neurophysiology
Institute of Neurology
London
A study of possible methods of increasing the sensitivity of evoked response recording in clinical testing.
*Department of Biochemistry
University
Leeds
Studies into the structure and organization of major protein species of bovine myelin.
*Department of Biology
University
York
The altered composition and antigenicity of nerve tissue membranes in multiple sclerosis.
Department of Communication and Neuroscience
University
Keele
Visual function in patients with multiple sclerosis: An analysis of colour vision and temporal discrimination.
*Institute of Pathology
Public Health Laboratory Service
London
Pathogenesis and pathway of viruses into central nervous system after intra-ocular injection in rabbits.
*Sobell Department of Neurophysiology
Institute of Neurology
London
The role of Schwann cells in the development of electrical excitability and impulse condition in demyelinated axons.
*Department of Microbiology
Guy's Hospital Medical School
London
Studies on persistent infection with papovaviruses in man.
*Virology
Royal Postgraduate Medical School
London
Cell-mediated immune responses to measles virus with particular reference to diseases of C.N.S.
*Biochemistry
Queen's University
Belfast
Canine distemper virus infection of small animals as a model for neurological diseases.
*Microbiology and Immunobiology
Queen's University
Belfast
Epstein-Barr virus transformed lympho cytes in patients with multiple sclerosis.
* Projects which may yield information about the causes of multiple sclerosis.