MQ Health - Macquarie University

Motor Neuron Disease

Among the recognised research strengths in neurodegenerative diseases is MQ Health’s efforts in motor neuron disease (MND, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and the genetically-related spectrum disease frontotemporal dementia. These research activities occur in Australia’s largest research program dedicated to MND, the Macquarie University Centre for Motor Neuron Disease Research.

Research within the centre begins with understanding the genetic and epigenetic origins of the disease, including the sporadic forms of the disease, and moves through exploring the defects that occur in protein production and processing, and cellular and sub-cellular dysfunction within the nervous system. These insights are then moved into testing potential therapies in animal models of the disease, with a view to eventual clinical trials in patients.

This discovery pipeline is only made possible by the involvement of clinical researchers within Macquarie Neurology, home to Australia’s largest MND clinic and Australia’s largest longitudinal MND biobank, the Macquarie University Neurodegenerative Diseases Biobank. A number of clinical trials of possible MND therapies are actively underway within Macquarie Neurology at present, and more are expected to occur in coming years as fundamental discoveries from the centre translate to therapies.