UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology (IoN) has significant research and clinical expertise in Motor Neuron Disorders, including Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Kennedy’s Disease (KD; also known as Spinal Bulbar Muscular Atrophy - SBMA).
ALS is the most common form of Motor Neuron Disease (MND), is an incurable and fatal neurological condition that causes the progressive degeneration of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord, leading to muscle paralysis.
Kennedy’s Disease, is an adult-onset, X-linked, progressive neuromuscular disease, which predominantly affects males, and is caused by a trinucleotide CAG repeat expansion in the gene that encodes the androgen receptor (AR) protein. There are currently no effective treatments for this debilitating disease. Clinicians at QS lead the National KD Clinic, the UK’s only KD-specialist clinic.
In November 2023, UCL hosted the 1st International Kennedy's Disease Patient Conference: London and the 1st International Kennedy's Disease Scientific Conference: London. Here are the recordings from the presentations from the Patient Conference - Day 1: https://youtu.be/jEEyvOPPMzA and Day 2: https://youtu.be/4jej_RipWxo
The UCL Queen Square IoN is recognised as one of the top European centres for translational neuroscience research, and a major international centre for training. Importantly, it hosts a number of high profile and internationally recognised research groups whose collaboration provides a unique opportunity to study the MND and the MND patient population in a comprehensive manner. These include the new Department of Neuromuscular Diseases, which has brought together basic and clinical researchers in the field of neuromuscular disorders, including the majority of UCL MND experts, to optimise interaction and collaboration, as well as Dementia Research Centre (DRC), one of the UK's leading centres for clinical research into dementia, with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTLD) and MND now recognised as a spectrum disorder, sharing the same underlying pathology.
Adjacent to IoN, the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), hosts one of the London MNDA MND Care Centres and is one of the largest MND centres in the UK and has been established for more than 20 years, with consultants actively engaged in both clinical and basic research.