Motor neurone disease

Motor neurone disease

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a terminal, rapidly progressing neurological disease. MND is also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Every year in Australia around 800 people are diagnosed. Each day, two people lose their lives – as their families stand by, powerless to help.

MND attacks the nerve cells controlling the muscles that enable us to move, speak, breathe, swallow and, ultimately, live. This means that, in most cases, a person with MND will die within two to four years of diagnosis. Worryingly, over the past 30 years, there has been a sharp escalation in the rate of MND in Australia, with the death toll increasing by 250 per cent. This is why at Macquarie University we are undertaking world-leading research to understand why MND is on the rise and to develop therapies that extend patients’ lives and ultimately cure them of the disease.

Understanding MND

MND occurs in two forms – genetic and sporadic. Around 10 per cent of patients have the genetic form of the condition, which means a faulty gene is the cause of their MND. Tissue and genetic samples donated by our patients and their families to Macquarie’s MND Biobank have helped to identify some of the genes involved in the disease. Through IVF, three babies have been born with these faulty genes removed, which means MND will no longer affect these families.

Making MND history

Macquarie has assembled the largest research centre in Australia that is focused solely on finding the causes of MND and developing therapies to cure it. We have recruited some of the best MND researchers in Australia and from around the world, and we have formed national and international collaborations. Our research begins in the MND clinic, with researchers partnering with patients to better understand the causes and biological processes underlying the disease. In the laboratory, we are looking for clues and potential targets for developing therapies to slow and stop the disease in its tracks. We all work together in the one facility, on the one topic and with one goal –  that is, to stop MND.

Support MND

Thanks to you, our community, we have been able to continue the fight against MND. Every donation is important and enables us to expand our research programs, which hold the key to further breakthroughs.

How will your donation help us?

All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.

Your support will help to:

  • $30 - buys a box of 1000 gloves to keep our researchers safe
  • $100 - $100 covers the cost of sequencing 10 genes
  • $200 - Allows DNA to be extracted from 4 patient blood samples
  • $1500 - Supports genome sequencing for one subject to identify genes involved in sporadic and familial MND
  • $15, 000 - Gives 10 MND patients access to best practice subsidised care
  • $30, 000 - Funds an annual PhD scholarship to foster bright young minds and new ideas
  • $150, 000 - Helps us recruit a top mid career researcher to help unravel the mysteries of MND

To support MND research, please contact Gemma Elliott or, Megan Pope

There are many ways you can support the fight against MND, find out how to hold your own event, donate direct to MND research or read about how our community have made an impact.

For more information about the MND Research Centre.

What we’ve achieved so far (2014 – 2017)

care for 10%

of Australians living with MND

70 Researchers

working on MND

26 Genes

globally, several identified at Macquarie

More than

25 Global

research partners

2 Clinical trials




MND biobank 30,000 samples

3 babies born

a faulty MND gene


first indigent

fund for MND patients unable to access care

Support Australia’s largest MND Research Centre and Clinic to help find a cure and give hope to those affected.

Give now

The Office of Advancement contact

Macquarie University
T: 1800 673 662

Contact us

Content owner: Advancement Last updated: 11 Jun 2019 1:50pm

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