Health and Care Research Wales, along with Department of Health and Social Care England, Alzheimer’s Society and Health and Social Care Northern Ireland, has committed £2.15 million to the Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease (JPND) funding awards. This is part of a £15.75 million investment for international collaborative research that also involves countries across Europe, Australia and Canada to help support research into diseases that affect the brain, called neurodegenerative diseases.
This programme reflects the urgent need for better health and social care for people living with neurodegenerative diseases in the UK and their loved ones. Through research, we can identify the best ways to fill this vital gap so that we can improve the lives of patients within the UK.
Some highlights from this year’s funding announcement include a Welsh research team leading the way in seeking to improve quality of life for people with Huntington’s disease, a genetic disease for which there are currently no treatments.
Professor Monica Busse at the Centre for Trials Research will lead the programme, Multi-Domain Lifestyle Targets for Improving Prognosis in Huntington’s disease (DOMINO HD), which will focus on aspects of life for people with Huntington’s that haven’t been studied in depth up until now. Researchers will look at how sleep, nutrition and physical activity all impact the disease, and develop new ways to support people to manage these fundamental aspects of their lives.
The Welsh team will lead a consortium across Europe which includes Ireland, Spain, Poland, Germany and Switzerland.
UK research teams are involved in eight of the 10 projects awarded funding. These researchers have provided an ambitious, collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to address an important aspect of health or social care. This might be at a system and services level, right down to the individual level of patients, their carers and families.
Michael Bowdery, Joint Interim Director of Health and Care Research Wales said: “The outcome of this funding call shows the value of cross-funder collaboration. Along with the National Institute for Health Research (England), Health and Care Research Northern Ireland, and the Alzheimer’s Society, we are delighted to be funding eight exciting new projects with the potential for wide-reaching benefits for people with dementia.
We are particularly pleased that, through Professor Monica Busse, Wales will lead the DOMINO HD project which aims to improve the quality of life for people living with Huntington’s disease.”
The JPND programme harnesses the collective expertise of researchers around the world to speed up progress towards new treatments and address shared challenges in health and social care.