Motor Neuron Disease

About Motor Neuron Disease

Motor Neuron Disease (MND) is a group of diseases with multiple causes, rather than a single disease with a single target. Tailoring treatments for different subtypes of MND may result in more effective therapies than looking for a 'one size fits all' solution.

Within this sub-theme, we aim to:

  • Group patients into known subtypes of MND that align with more targeted treatments already in the development pipeline

  • Develop biomarkers (chemical or other measurable signatures of processes inside the body) that can tell us whether a treatment is hitting the desired target

  • Advance a candidate therapy through an experimental medicine trial. Robust biomarkers and well defined ‘strata’ of MND will help us to do this.

Establishing standardised ways to collect the clinical and biological information needed in order to subtype patients (or ‘stratify the disease’) is already underway. This is through a study called AMBroSIA, which is systematically collecting patient samples and tracking clinical symptoms over time.

Patients coming into this study are genetically tested against a panel of known genes which cause MND.

Partnering with our Genomic Medicine and Bioinformatics team could help us define more categories of MND by extending the panel of known genetic risk factors and understanding how different types of gene interact with one another.

In the longer term, this knowledge may help us uncover new therapeutic approaches for MND.


Professor Dame Pamela Shaw

MND Sub Theme Lead

Prof. Chris McDermott

Prof. Sherif El-Khamisy

Prof. Janine Kirby

Dr. Laura Ferraiuolo

Dr. Scott Allen

Dr. James Alix

Dr. Esther Hobson

Dr. Robin Highley

Dr. Johnathan Cooper-Knock

Dr. Channa Hewamadduma

Dr. Guillaume Hautbergue

Dr. Haris Stavroulakis

Dr. Richard Mead

Sheffield BRC > Research themes > Neuroscience > Motor Neuron Disease