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Neuromuscular disease network to enhance research, clinical care


Calgary, AB – The Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Network was launched last week by the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

“Neuromuscular diseases are individually rare but as a group affect many Canadians. This partnership with the patient community is the only way forward in the process of developing and testing potential treatments,” says Dr. Lawrence Korngut, network chair, a University of Calgary researcher in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences and a member of the HBI.

The network is a critical initiative, organizing neuromuscular disease clinical care and research personnel across the country. Network members plan to enhance the delivery of clinical care, increase capacity and collaboration and improve training opportunities for researchers and clinical care providers.

Bringing together 11 principal investigators, the network has received $575,613 in a CIHR Network Catalyst grant from the CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis and $155,820 funding from Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

“The network will result in tremendous benefits to the Canadian neuromuscular disease community,” says Catherine Sherrard, CEO of Muscular Dystrophy Canada. That includes “increased access to a broader range of range of multidisciplinary expertise and enhanced collaboration among researchers improving the effectiveness of research dollars and the speed with which treatments can be translated from bench to bedside,” she adds.

Neuromuscular diseases as a group include over 150 different conditions. These diseases result in weakness and physical disability as a result of damage to muscle and nerve tissue.