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MND-SMART launches in Southern Trust

15th March 2023
Dr Raeburn Forbes, Consultant Neurologist and Principal Investigator for the MND-SMART study is pictured with colleagues Roisin McNulty, Clinical Trials pharmacist and Fiona Thompson – Research Nurse and Sharon Bell – MND Nurse.

An innovative Motor Neuron Disease (MND) clinical drugs trial has opened to participants at Craigavon Area Hospital.

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust is the first site in Northern Ireland to open as a centre for the UK-wide MND-SMART clinical trial.

MND-SMART is testing how effective different drugs are at slowing down the disease and improving survival. The trial is led by the Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neuron Disease Research at the University of Edinburgh. It is funded by the Euan MacDonald Centre, MND Scotland and the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

Dr Raeburn Forbes, Consultant Neurologist and Principal Investigator for the MND-SMART study said:

“MND, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, is an incurable progressive condition that causes muscle to waste away. It occurs when nerve cells called motor neurons, which send messages from the brain and spinal cord to the body’s muscles, stop working properly.

“This trial is called SMART – Systematic Multi-Arm Randomised Trial – and is an innovative design designed to speed up the time it takes to find medicines that can slow, stop, or reverse the progression of, Motor Neuron Disease.

“We are delighted to be able to enrol participants from across all of Northern Ireland to try and bring us one step closer to finding a treatment for MND.”

People with MND who are interested in taking part in the trial can register via www.mnd-smart.org.


Dr Raeburn Forbes, Consultant Neurologist and Principal Investigator for the MND-SMART study is pictured with colleagues Roisin McNulty, Clinical Trials pharmacist and Fiona Thompson – Research Nurse and Sharon Bell – MND Nurse.