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Lithium trial for MND in US stops

Lithium trial for MND in US stops
29th September 2009

The decision by researchers in the US to halt a lithium trial does not mean that a partner programme in the UK is unsafe or will be stopped too, according to a leading charity working with the results.

According to the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association, the American trial is of a different design and has proved relatively ineffective after initial results, resulting in participants across the Atlantic being informed of the situation.

However, the UK trial does not have predetermined levels of improvement, the charity continued, adding that smaller yet important issues can be detected; despite this, scientists here hope to see a 40 per cent improvement in MND patients' functional capability after 18 months, reflecting the conclusion of an Italian study.

Professor Nigel Leigh, the director of the King's MND Care Centre at King's College London, added: "Our own Independent Data Monitoring and Ethics Committee has not had any safety concerns about the UK lithium trial and continues to monitor it very carefully.

"I would like to stress that patients taking part in the UK trial are not in danger if they continue in our study."

The current trial in the UK includes 220 people with MND in ten centres around the country, with the US offering including 250 individuals with the condition.

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