Page last updated at 14:26 GMT, Tuesday, 21 July 2009 15:26 UK

Work under way on disease centre

Artist impression of the centre
The centre is expected to open in 2010

Work has started on a new £12m institute which will make Sheffield a world centre for research into motor neurone disease.

The Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience is being hailed as a massive step towards finding a cure for the disease.

The first of its kind in Europe, the centre will be run by staff from Sheffield University.

A ceremony was held on Tuesday to mark the start of building work.

'Effective therapies'

Motor neurone disease destroys the cells that control movement, resulting in progressive disability.

At present the disease is incurable and treatments are very limited.

It is hoped the two-storey centre opposite the city's Royal Hallamshire Hospital will bring together scientists and medical specialists from around the world who are dedicated to finding a cure.

Professor Pamela Shaw, who will lead the team at the centre, said: "I believe that the creation of the institute will enable us to assemble the manpower and funding needed to generate much more effective therapies for patients with Motor Neurone Disease."

Prof Shaw said people with the disease would receive treatment as part of clinical trials at the centre.

"This long overdue institute, the first in Europe, is a great step towards the discovery of treatments and hopefully a cure for this devastating condition."

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