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Funding needed for Batten disease research

1.6 from 5 votes
Monday, February 20, 2012

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SCIENTIFIC researchers’ quests for a therapy to reverse the progression of Batten disease are severely hamstrung by funding shortage, says national support group leader.

Operations manager of the Batten Disease Support and Research Association Vanessa Anderson said researchers had identified the gene responsible for the disease, but to develop gene therapies and stem-cell treatments they required ongoing millions of dollars in funding for trials.

“This is an exciting era for Batten disease research because for the first time in more than 25 years there are signs of hope,” Ms Anderson said.

She said while childhood cancers and other more common diseases attracted research money from the government and philanthropic organisations, Batten disease research was dependent on donations and funds raised by association members.

“We need to tap into big amounts of money to have our children participate in trials here,” Ms Anderson said.

Next month a team of Australian scientists will fly to London for a symposium where they will contribute to world-wide research into Batten disease.

Batten disease is an inherited neurological disorder with symptoms progressing from visual impairment, seizures, muscle wasting, immobilisation and death, usually between the ages of six to 13.

There are 34 children in Australia living with Batten disease.

© 2012 News Community Media

Author: By Michael Gleeson
Source: Northcote Leader
1.6 from 5 votes
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