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Multiple Sclerosis

Volume 115: debated on Wednesday 29 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement about the nature and scale of research related to multiple sclerosis supported by public funds.

The Medical Research Council is the main Government agency for the support of biomedical research. I understand that the council is supporting a number of research projects on multiple sclerosis, including both basic work on the nature of the disease and clinical studies of its treatment. In the financial year 1985–86, the last year for which figures are available, the council spent £403,000 on research into multiple sclerosis. The council is always willing to consider soundly based research grant applications in competition with other applicants.I understand that research into multiple sclerosis is also carried out in universities and medical schools using funds for teaching and research allocated on advice from the University Grants Committee. The Government are not in a position to influence directly the scale and nature of this research activity.